The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has just issued a press release to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Hands-Free Law in California. The CHP is excited to celebrate this event during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In July of 2008, Senate Bill 1613, the Hands-Free Cell Phone Law and Senate Bill 28, the No-Texting Law were enacted. The CHP credits countless lives saved to these important pieces of legislation. They also recognize that there are still improvements that can be made to reduce distracted driving on roadways in California and across the nation. According to the CHP, although drivers in California are using their cell phones less, distracted driving is still a major problem.
Distracted Driving Citation Data
- Last year, the CHP issued 97,000 citations for violations of the handheld cell phone laws.
- In 2009, the first full year of the hands-free law, the CHP issued more than 148,000 citations.
- In 2017, nearly 22,000 drivers were involved in distracted driving crashes in California.
- In 2007, there were more than 33,000 drivers involved in distracted driving crashes in California.
Hands-Free Isn’t a Free Pass
While hands-free certainly sounds safer than hand-held device usage, it’s important for motorists to know that it’s not substantially safer. Obviously, the best policy is to refrain from using your cell phone behind the wheel. Motorists are reminded to not fall into the false mindset of “hands-free equals safer.” Studies have shown that hands-free cell phone usage isn’t substantially safer behind the wheel. Since using a cell phone is a cognitive distraction, it isn’t just using the buttons or looking at the screen that makes these devices so dangerous behind the wheel.
Distracted Driving Accidents in California
While hands-free laws are certainly a step in the right direction, the best practice is to avoid using your cell phone behind the wheel altogether. The text or call can wait. It’s not worth risking your life or the lives of others.
If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident involving a distracted driver in San Diego or anywhere along the Central Coast, contact the skilled and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation today.