In this new age of social media, cell phones, and constant connectivity, the issue of distracted driving is at an all-time high. All across the country, state and local governments are constantly enacting new laws to curb the issue of this dangerous practice. At the beginning of this year, California took action and implemented a law that will ban drivers from using their cell phones for any purpose at all while behind the wheel of their cars. It seems as though there are two sides of the debate, however. Many people believe that this law is long overdue while others believe that this is an infringement on their livelihoods.
What is Different About California’s New Distracted Driving Law?
This new law is very familiar to the one that preceded it which prohibited the use of cell phones to text or make calls while driving. The previous law allowed the use of hands-free devices for calling, as well as permitted the use of cell phones for browsing social media, looking up music, and use of the phone’s camera. All of these acts, of course, take the driver’s attention away from the road. Freedoms such as these were given with the hope that people would not engage in these dangerous activities while driving. In the end, common sense seems to have failed.
A significant spike in the number of accidents across the nation has been attributed to the increasing number of distracted driving accidents that are caused by people using electronic devices. The new law that is in place will make it much easier for officers to determine whether the driver is on their phone or not. Now, officers will simply have to look to see if the driver has their phone mounted to the dash or not. If the phone is in the driver’s hand and the officer sees, the driver will be pulled over.
Is the New Law Enough to Prevent Distracted Driving?
While there have been many positive reactions to this new law, there are many people who believe that it may not eliminate the issue of distracted driving entirely. Distractions such as the ones below are all not addressed by the new law:
- Eating while driving
- Applying makeup
- Tuning the radio
- Dealing with children and pets
- Listening to loud music
Those who have voiced opinions about the parameters of the new law suggest that all distractions be included within the law to minimize the possibility of a distracted driver causing an accident. Another point that has been brought up is the worry that police officers will still find it too difficult to accurately enforce the new cell phone law.
It seems as though that on today’s roads, it is nearly impossible to drive anywhere without seeing a person using their cell phone while driving. Those in favor of the new law firmly believe that it has the right pieces in place that will enable it to save lives in California. Time will tell, but if true, this law may have a huge impact on accident statistics in the coming years. It would be great news considering that distracted driving is considered more dangerous than driving while drowsy of driving under the influence.
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol takes many lives every year in California. Many experts are now revealing that it may be easier to drive a car while being impaired than driving a car while texting. While this may be a shocking comparison, it is true that at a rate of 50 mph, your car can travel 300 feet per second. Considering the average text message takes a drivers eyes off the road for 4 seconds, a lot can happen in the time a text is exchanged.
It is important to remember that no matter what, you should never be distracted while driving. The makeup, the text, phone call, they all can wait. This law could be a step in the right direction for the safety of drivers all across the state of California. The bottom line is, focus on the road and nothing else.
Car Accident Attorney in Bakersfield
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, know that you have legal rights. Call car accident attorney Mickey Fine, so he can assist you in determining your best options for compensation. Mickey Fine is an experienced car accident lawyer who will take your case seriously and fight for you to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.