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California's distracted driving law gains an added detail

Ever get lost while driving on the roads in California? If you have or tend to do so, you'd better get a car mount for your cell phone or GPS device. Societies across the country are having to catch up with the advancements in cell phones and how those advancements impact drivers' behaviors.

People no longer just talk on their phones. They text, shop, listen to music, take notes and use navigational tools, too. The vast array of options in using cell phones can make creating clear, effective legislation related to the devices a tricky venture. A recent change to distracted driving laws in California provides an example of the need to consistently evaluate how technology and traffic safety intersect.

Texting while driving is prohibited in California. The driving behavior is a proven danger that threatens the lives of motorists and pedestrians. Distracted driving laws are relatively strict in the state, with all hand-held use of a cell phone while driving being prohibited.

There was a gap in the distracted driving legislation, however. The question that a California court had to recently answer was whether handling a device to set up GPS navigation was a violation of distracted driving laws. The court answered yes, the hand-held use of a mapping tool is classified as driving while distracted.

Simply put, all drivers should either strictly engage with their devices in a hands-free manner or not use the devices at all until they are done driving. If they cause an accident, authorities will definitely investigate whether it was related to distracted driving.

Source: Tech Crunch, "California Court Bans Checking Smartphone Maps While Driving," Gregory Ferenstein, April 6, 2013

Our California car accident lawyers help victims of distracted drivers or other careless parties seek the compensation that they deserve.

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