The amount of California motorists who use cell phones while driving is on the rise, which officials believe is causing an increase in the number of crashes and injuries to motorists. During a study conducted in April by California’s Office of Traffic Safety, nearly 13 percent of the state’s drivers were spotted using cellphones in some manner while driving, which marks a rise from nine percent of the state’s drivers in 2015. Driving with a cell phone in your hand to text or make a phone call is already illegal in California. Lawmakers, however, have proposed a bill that would allow cell-phone use to text and make calls so long as the driver’s phone is installed on a dashboard holder. Whether or not this bill becomes a law in California, distracted driving remains a danger in California. This article will explore some ways to avoid distracted driving in Southern California:
- Avoid Certain Behaviors. Avoid eating, drinking, grooming, reading, smoking or anything else that might divert your attention from the task at hand, which driving an automobile safely on the road.
- Avoid Mental Anguish. Never drive when you are angry or upset. Also make sure that you drive properly rested because driving tired or fatigued can take your attention from the road. Also never daydream while driving, instead make sure that all of your attention is focused on the road in front of you and the situations around you.
- Drive Defensively. Assume that others will engage in dangerous behavior. Make sure that you drive defensively so that in the event others around you make a bad move while driving, you have plenty of space in which to respond and correct the positioning of your own vehicle. The rest of life besides driving can wait while you drive carefully.
- Familiarize Yourself With The Route. Before even stepping into the motor vehicle, acquaint yourself with the path that you will be driving so you know how to safely and properly reach your destination.
- Finish Grooming. Before stepping into a vehicle, finishing all of the grooming that is necessary which includes brushing hair, applying makeup, and making sure that one’s clothes fit adequately. Doing any of these activities while driving can be extremely distracting towards one’s ability to safely focus on driving.
- Food and Drink. Never eat while driving and if you do decide to eat then pull off the road somewhere to ensure food does not distract you from driving. If you drink any beverage while driving, use a straw to make sure that you do not have to take your eyes off of the road while operating vehicle. Also, never under any circumstance consume alcohol while operating a motor vehicle.
- Know the Law. Unless this proposed bill is passed in California, it is illegal to either text or talk on a cell phone while driving. As a result, if law enforcement sees you doing either on a cell phone, you can be pulled over and given a ticket.
- Load Your GPS. Load your GPS so that it is aware of your driving destination before operating a motor vehicle. Never attempt to adjust the GPS while driving your motor vehicle. Also, make sure that the volume is sufficient enough that you need not play around with the application while you are driving towards your destination.
- Make Sure the Floor Is Free From Items. Before driving, make sure that the floor of the automobile is free from loose items that could potentially roll and serve as a distraction to the driver or the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle.
- Passengers. If there are other passengers in the vehicle, ask them to make a phone call for you rather than making the call yourself while driving.
- Pets and Children. Make sure that pets and children are properly secured before driving. Pets should be in carriers, while children should be placed in either car seats or seat belts. If problems arise, pull over before addressing them.
- Pull Over. If you need to make a cell phone call and there are no passengers in the vehicle, pull over to the side of the road and make the phone call.
- Put Technological Devices Away. Cell phone usage often causes distracted driving because using a cellular phone causes driver to divert their eyes and attention from the road. Turn off devices and place them in areas of the motor vehicle where they are out of reach. Realize that even hands-free devices are not completely safe because while a driver’s hands might be free on the road, the driver’s attention is still focused on the phone or conversation being had on the phone rather than on the road.
- Radio. Pick what music you will be listening to before driving towards your destination. Never attempt to play with the radio or other music playing devices while driving because this will divert your attention from the road.
- Rest. Driving requires individuals to be physically and mentally well rested. Being fatigued can substantially impair one’s ability to properly operate a motor vehicle. If you become drowsy while driving, it is perfectly acceptable to pull over to the side of the road to rest.
- Understand Your Car’s Features. Make sure that you know exactly how everything in your car works before driving towards your destination, that way you do not have to take your eyes off of the road to figure out something like the air conditioning works.
- Use an Application to Inform Others that You Are Driving. In addition to setting your cell phone to go to voicemail or an automatic text response to tell others that you are driving and will return phone calls later, drivers can also download a driving apps which monitors these situations and addresses them.
If you have been involved in a case involving one of these new driving laws or have been in any type of car collision in Riverside, do not hesitate to call our experienced car accident attorneys at The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers as soon as possible for a free consultation to discuss your case.