How California Is Making More People Put Their Phones Down While Driving

Photo of a man texting while driving

It is no secret that distracted driving is an ever-growing problem in the United States. In 2017 alone, distracted driving caused over 3000 deaths. Public awareness campaigns have had some success, but a shocking amount of people still think that they can drive safely while texting, eating, or applying makeup. As a result, many states have passed tougher laws to discourage reckless drivers. Our state is now one of them as a new California distracted driving law takes effect. But what do you need to know about this new law?

California Distracted Driving Law Seeks to Reduce Texting and Driving

California has taken a tougher stance on distracted driving over the years. The first effort to curb texting and driving came in 2009, when the state passed a bill making texting while driving illegal. In 2017, legislators passed a law that prohibits drivers from holding a phone for any reason while driving. This includes activities like changing music or using GPS. Drivers under 18 cannot use a cell phone at all, even if it is a hands-free device.

Now, a new California distracted driving law—Assembly Bill 47—will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

What Assembly Bill 47 Means for Drivers

Assembly Bill 47 is a less restrictive version of another bill proposed by California legislators. Under AB 47, a driver will get a point added to their license if convicted of distracted driving within 36 months of a previous distracted driving conviction. The legislator who introduced the bill believes this will be a more effective deterrent. California’s current fine for using a cell phone while driving has proven ineffective in stopping this dangerous behavior.

The new law impacts drivers in a variety of ways. Drivers with too many points on their record, may lose their license. The state may also ban drivers with too many points from renewing their license. Additionally, insurance companies often increase rates or deny coverage based on driving record. This could balloon insurance costs for drivers who refuse to put their cell phones away.

Another version of the bill would have added one point after a single conviction.

Distracted Driving Accidents

Distracted driving causes 1,000 injuries and nine deaths a day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Advocates hope that this California distracted driving law will help reduce the rate of these crashes. This law may also cause repeat offenders to lose their licenses, which may keep dangerous drivers off the road.

Should I Contact a San Diego Distracted Driving Attorney?

Those who suffer injury in a distracted driving crash should explore their legal remedies. A car crash can leave you with medical debt, a loss of income, and other financial burdens. A personal injury lawsuit may help you recover damages and hold the other party accountable.

Californians injured in a distracted driving crash should not have to suffer due to someone else’s neglect. The San Diego distracted driving attorneys at Traffic Accident Law Center can help you get the compensation you deserve. We have experience handling insurance companies and we can help hold negligent parties responsible for their actions. Contact us at (619) 882-1111 to discuss your case.

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