Distracted driving in CA: Teens shift from texting to app use

Teens are less likely to text but more likely to use apps while driving.

The United States Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Association have taken many steps to reduce the practice of texting while driving. From billboards around the country sharing crash data connected to distracted driving accidents to commercials showing reenacted footage of these crashes, the efforts seem to be paying off.

A recent study shows that teens recognize texting while driving is dangerous. Unfortunately, it appears teens are replacing one destructive distracted driving practice with another. According to the study, conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), teens do not think using their phones to check apps while driving is dangerous.

More on the study: How was it done and what did the scientists discover?

The study involved 2,650 teens from across the country. These teens completed a survey that included various questions about the teen's driving habits. According to researchers with the study, 27 percent of participants reported that they text while driving. However, 68 percent admit to using apps while driving and 80 percent stated that using an app while driving was not distracting.

Although apps commonly used by teens include Facebook, Snapchat and the newly released Pokemon Go!, others that cause issue are navigation or music apps.

More on the law: Is it legal to use your phone while you drive in California?

It is illegal to use a phone to write, text or otherwise use a handheld wireless telephone while driving in California. This means even using it for navigation purposes is against the law.

It is also important to note that legislators take this offense seriously. When crafting the laws designed to deter drivers from using their phones while they drive the lawmakers included language that allows an officer to pull a driver over for this infraction alone.

Those who violate this law can receive a monetary penalty. The violation will also appear on the offender's driving record, which will likely impact future insurance rates.

More on remedies: What should I do if I am injured in a distracted driving accident?

Victims of these accidents have options. A personal injury suit can be used to hold the person responsible for the accident accountable. This can result in monetary awards to help cover the costs associated with the accident. These costs can add up quickly and often include medical expenses, rehabilitative costs and lost wages as well as the costs associated with fixing or replacing your vehicle.

Our founding attorney, Scott J. Corwin, has more than 25 years of experience in representing victims of DUI and drunk drivers injured in all forms of motor vehicle, motorcycle, truck, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and throughout the state of California.