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2024 California Distracted Driving Laws

Updated: Jan 2

California Distracted Driving Laws For Personal Injury Claimants

Distracted driving caused 8.7% of all traffic deaths in 2019. Additionally, it was found that 74.3% of Californians consider distracted driving as one of the primary traffic safety concerns by a 2021 OTS Public Opinion Survey.

On top of death, distracted driving accidents can leave surviving victims with injuries, extensive medical bills, lost income, and emotional distress. Hence, it's crucial to know California driving laws that mitigate them and what to do when it happens.

Distracted Driving Car Accidents in California

Defining Distracted Driving In California

Distracted driving is defined under California law as "anything that takes your eyes, head, or hands off the road, notably when texting or using a cell phone. The main goal of this legislation is to lessen collisions brought on by cell phone distraction.

Distractions while driving are not always prohibited. For instance, changing the radio station is acceptable. However, you risk having a "reckless driving" or "speeding too fast for conditions" infraction added to your citation if you get into an accident or break the law while being distracted.

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Distracted Driving Laws In California

The California Vehicle Code covers a lot of statutes related to distracted driving. These include the following:

  • Section 23123. In California, unless a hands-free device is installed, drivers are not permitted to read texts or make calls on a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. However, if a cell phone is used in an emergency, this provision does not apply.

  • Section 23123.5. A handheld wireless telephone or another electronic wireless communication device may only be used by drivers if it has been expressly set to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation and complies with the requirements of the relevant code provision.

  • Section 23124. All California drivers under 18 are barred from using a phone, even in hands-free mode, unless it is to call an emergency services organization or agency.

  • Section 231235. It is against the law for any driver of a school bus or transit vehicle to use a wireless phone while operating the vehicle unless it is an emergency call to an emergency services organization or agency.

Our prescreened California personal injury lawyers have encountered a lot of Distracted Driving Car Accidents in California. Unfortunately, this leaves victims with physical, emotional, and financial challenges as a result. Liable parties are identified through a few factors, the most important of which are violations of the above statutes.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Related To Distracted Driving Claims In California

Distracted drivers are considered liable for possible injuries and deaths. Therefore, not only are liable parties responsible for violations of California Car Accident Laws, but they would also need to shoulder the losses incurred by other people who were injured or died due to the negligence.

Victims and their family members might file for the following:

  • California Personal Injury Claim. If you've been in an accident with a distracted driver, you have the right to file claims and hire California car accident lawyers to retrieve damages. These damages are a way to compensate victims for the financial and emotional costs of the accident. These damages include medical bills, lost income, emotional distress, accommodations (for severe life-altering injuries), etc.

  • California Wrongful Death Claim. Surviving family members might file wrongful death claims to get damages for the death of a loved one. These damages could include burial fees, medical bills, loss of income, emotional distress, etc.

To file these claims, victims or their family members can do so on their own or with the help of a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles.

That said, they need to be wary of low-balled insurance claims offers and defendants refusing to pay damages. A Los Angeles car accident lawyer can help with all the necessary steps of getting the compensation while the victims and their families focus on recovering from the accident.

California's distracted driving laws

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