At the beginning of this year, a California law went into effect, which was created to build on past distracted driving rules. In a nutshell, the law would forbid drivers from holding their smartphone and using it in any capacity. The only exception is if the smartphone is mounted to the dashboard or windshield and has single finger access. This builds on past legislation that dealt with texting and driving and calling someone without a hands-free device. Using the smartphone to access a playlist or look something up could potentially keep someone distracted for longer.
Why Did the California Law Get Passed?
One of the largest endangerments on the road today is distracted driving. Here a just a few statistics that illustrate how big of a problem it is in Florida:
- In 2016, a survey showed that 44% of Californians said texting while driving was the most serious distraction for drivers.
- In 2016, more than 54% of California drivers surveyed said that they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver using a cell phone.
- In 2016, almost 40% of drivers admitted to making a mistake while talking on a cell phone.
- In the United States, 3,154 people were killed and more than 400,000 were injured in distracted driving accidents in 2013.
- 10% of all accidents involving drivers under the age of 20 were classified as distracted driving cases.
The California Office of Traffic Safety also noted that five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When going 55 mph, you could cover the length of a football field, which is scary if you’re doing that without your eyes on the road. eTags has written extensively about distracted driving on its website, but here are a few things to avoid:
- Don’t use your smartphone in any way that will keep your eyes and focus off the road.
- Eat a snack before you go on the road if you think you’ll get hungry when driving.
- If you start to feel tired or restless, pull over to regain your focus.
- Do not wear your headphones.
- If something falls to the floor, worry about getting it when you have stopped.