Effective January 1, 2017, all residents of the state of California are prohibited from using their cell phones while driving. This does mean no texting, calling, Snapping, or Wazing – indeed, drivers are no longer allowed to hold a phone in their hand.
While texting and driving has been illegal for quite some time, this law heightens the restrictions of mobile phone use while driving with the goal of reducing the frequency of accidents caused by distracted driving. We all know that texting and driving is a main cause behind distracted driving accidents. However, using your phone for any other purposes while driving is just as likely to distract and lead to the possibility of life-threatening motor accidents.
Resisting the Temptation
Of course, this will be a major change for California drivers, and a few things can be done to get comfortable being completely “hands free”. First, switch your phone to silent, or switch it off completely. If that doesn’t work, there are apps are designed to help prevent you from texting / playing on your phone while in the driver’s seat.
Ideally, drivers will just put the phone away and completely out of reach. However, in today’s fast-paced world of technology and virtual communication, the phone is a significant and necessary item in most people’s lives. One missed call can mean bad things for your schedule, and the reliance on GPS means you could easily lose your way. Do not despair: under this new law, you’re allowed to use your device as long as it’s hands-free – that is, to use Bluetooth or voice commands or mount the phone on the dashboard in front of you. While phones are a crucial part of living in the 21st century, lives are at stake when it comes to the consequences of distracted driving. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, contact an experienced accident attorney for help.
What to Do if You’re a Victim of Distracted Driving
If you are involved in an auto accident involving a texting motorist who was obviously distracted by his or her device, know that California law is on your side and that you may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries. Attorney Barry P. Goldberg’s law firm deals with a multitude of motor accidents – including those that involve trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and hit and runs. Any of these could involve distracted driving — call him today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.