Texting and driving is a risky combination. Texting takes your eyes off of the road, seriously endangering the lives of passengers, other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the United States each day over eight people are killed and 1,161 injured in accidents that involve distracted drivers. In 2013 alone, the NHTSA reported that 3,154 people were killed and an additional 424,000 were injured in distracted driving crashes. The California Office of Safety Traffic reports that 80% of motor vehicle crashes involve driver distraction, and texting or talking on a cell phone is the number one source of driver inattention. Additionally, based upon a 2014 California Traffic Safety Survey, 61 percent of California drivers surveyed reported that they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver who was texting or talking on their cell phone, and nearly 40% of those surveyed believed that texting or talking on a cell phone while operating a vehicle presents the biggest safety problem on the state’s roads and highways. Operating a motor vehicle while texting on a cell phone is an extremely dangerous proposition that puts everyone at risk.
California Laws Banning Text Messaging and Cell Phone Use
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, as of July 2016, 46 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. Fourteen states, along with Washington D.C., Puerto Rico Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones for all drivers. Additionally, some localities across the nation have adopted additional regulations aimed at preventing distracted driving and reducing traffic accidents and fatalities. In the State of California, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving a motor vehicle. Section 23123.5 of the Vehicle Code provides that drivers are not permitted to “drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication” unless the device is configured to allow for hands-free, voice operation, and the driver is using the device in this manner. Additionally, Section 23124 of the Vehicle Code prohibits all drivers under the age of 18 (novice drivers) from using a cell phone while driving even if the phone is equipped with a hands-free device, and also bans cell phone use for drivers of school buses and transit vehicles.
One of the best things you can do to help reduce traffic accidents is to eliminate distractions while you are driving. You should never attempt to text and drive and you should never text someone else when you know they are driving. If you absolutely need to send or read a text, or take a phone call, you should pull your car over to a safe place to do so. While you may believe you are an expert multi-tasker, using a cell phone while driving is dangerous. If you are operating a motor vehicle, you should keep your eyes on the road at all times. If you have been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, you should contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer immediately. A personal injury attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers will explain your rights and help you collect the financial compensation you need to recover from your car accident and move forward with your life. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please visit www.westcoasttriallawyers.com or contact us at (888) 539-9582 We are here to help.