Distracted Driving FAQ

grooming while drivingApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so this is a perfect time to learn about the dangers and prevention of distracted driving.

The Arnold Law Firm takes safe driving very seriously, as we have seen the consequences of distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in February 2022, drivers were 30 percent more distracted than the prior year in February 2020.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any type of activity that:

  • Takes the driver’s attention away from the road
  • Takes the driver’s hands off the steering wheel
  • Takes his or her eyes off the road

Cellphone use is considered the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it does all three.

When drivers are not focused on the road, it is more likely that they will cause an accident. These accidents can result in severe injuries because the driver may not have the time necessary to react by swerving or applying the brakes.

Examples of distracted driving include:

  • Texting or using social media
  • Adjusting the radio or air conditioner dials
  • Using a navigation system
  • Eating or drinking
  • Grooming

Why Is Distracted Driving Dangerous?

Statistics provide a stark picture of the dangers of distracted driving. Although many California motorists admit that they are aware of the dangers of texting and driving and other forms of distracted driving, many drivers continue these habits.

According to the California Offices of Traffic Safety, about 40 percent of surveyed California drivers admitted to making a driving mistake while talking on a cell phone. About 54 percent said that they had been hit or nearly hit by a distracted driver.

Distracted driving puts others on the roadway in danger, as shown by these facts:

  • About 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time the accident occurred.
  • When traveling at 55 mph, a vehicle will travel the length of a football field during the time it takes a driver to send a single text.
  • Engaging in activities like dialing, texting or reaching for a phone increases the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident by three times.
  • Multiple studies indicate that distracted driving is even more dangerous than drunk driving.

What Are California’s Laws Against Distracted Driving?

To combat the risks of distracted driving, California lawmakers passed legislation banning cellphone use and wireless device use while operating a motor vehicle.

California law prohibits the use of a phone unless it is configured to use voice-operated prompts and hands-free operation and is used only in this manner while driving. Additionally, California law permits a phone to be used when it is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield like a GPS system and the phone is only used to activate or deactivate a function with one swipe or finger tap.

However, these exceptions are not available to drivers under 18 years of age. Minors cannot use a cell phone at all while driving.

How Can I Avoid Distracted Driving?

Every driver has the responsibility of driving in a safe and cautious manner. There are many ways that people can avoid distracted driving, including:

  • Do not text while driving.
  • Turn off your phone when getting into a vehicle, or set your phone to “do not disturb” while you are driving.
  • Safely pull over if you have to text or talk on the phone.
  • Do not eat or drink while driving.
  • Avoid other distracting activities, like reading or grooming.
  • Make all necessary adjustments before moving the vehicle, such as the mirrors or radio.
  • Enter all necessary GPS information before moving the vehicle.
  • Pull over if you drop something in your vehicle and must retrieve it.
  • Do not text or call others who might be driving.

Our Attorneys Are Here for You

Come to our offices today to take the pledge to be a focused driver and pick up your free bracelet. The caring attorneys at the Arnold Law Firm want you to drive safely, never distracted.

If you were injured by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the injuries and damage that you sustained in the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney in Sacramento can help investigate your claim and gather evidence that shows the other driver was distracted. We can discuss your options during a free, no-obligation consultation.

Call (916) 777-7777 to schedule a free consultation,
or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form.