Anytime you are walking down the street, sitting in a restaurant, or anywhere in public, it is common, if not expected, to see people on their smartphones. Technology is ever changing and becoming more and more ingrained in our everyday life. One place where it does not belong is using a smartphone, or other handheld electronic device, while driving a moving vehicle. Texting and driving is incredibly dangerous and sending one text message can drastically change the life of yourself and others. If you have been in a car accident with another driver who was texting, the attorneys at The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers are here to help.
Since 2009, California has had laws making it illegal to text on a handheld device while driving. After this initial ban, laws have only become more stringent on what can be done with electronic devices while driving. As of January 1, 2017, it is a crime to hold a cell phone for any reason. Drivers that are over the age of 18 can use the “hands free” option on cell phones and electronics. It is not just texting that is banned. The illegality extends to using a handheld GPS device, or checking that GPS device while driving. California laws are even more restrictive with drivers under the age of 18. Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use the “hands-free” option for cell phones and electronics. The purpose of these restrictions on all drivers is to reduce the number of accidents that occur because of distracted driving.
There are a few exceptions for drivers using a cell phone or electronic devices. The law does not apply to emergency services professionals that are operating an authorized emergency vehicle. Also, if a driver has a GPS that is mounted to the car in some way, you are allowed to turn it on/off if that action only requires one touch. Lastly, drivers can use the systems that are previously installed in their car.
Accidents Involving Cell Phone Use
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 26 percent of motor vehicle crashes involved cell phone use. This means roughly one out of every four crashes are because of using cell phones in some way. Taking your eyes off the road, even just for a few seconds, to send a text or check a cell phone notification can lead to a serious crash. Distracted driving is dangerous and the California law makers are making every attempt to decrease the amount of accidents involving cell phone use.
Contact Experienced Attorneys
Being the victim of a car accident can be scary and confusing. The experienced attorneys at The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers are here to make this process easy and bearable for you. We pride ourselves on developing a case strategy that is unique to you. Compassion is a key component in our success. We make sure to listen to you and answer questions to help guide you through this difficult time.