What are the laws for texting and driving in California?

A common issue among drivers in California is what the laws are regarding texting and driving. While it’s universally understood that being a distracted driver can lead to a car accident, injuries, and fatalities, many drivers don’t think they’ll be the ones who are caught and punished. They don’t believe they’ll be in an accident that injures themselves and others. But for some Californians, those beliefs will prove unfounded.

If there is an accident due to a negligent driver, those affected will need to know what they’re facing when it comes to allocating responsibility. Drivers are technically supposed to use a hands-free device when they’re operating a motor vehicle. In practice, there is a great deal of openness to interpretation when stopped for using a mobile device when operating a vehicle. For example, many drivers wonder whether they’re allowed to use the phone as a navigation device, if they’re on the side of the road using their phone and not actually driving, or if they’re in a parking area and not on the road.

The law deals with being a distracted driver in different ways. Drivers are not supposed to be using their phones while driving no matter the circumstances. Yet the law does allow for a driver to use the phone for navigation (though officers can stop the vehicle and issue a citation if using a phone for navigating leads to erratic driving).

Given the known dangers of texting and driving and being a distracted driver, the state is making an attempt to discourage the practice. That doesn’t mean accidents will be eliminated as people will continue to flout the law and use their mobile devices. If there is a car accident due to a distracted driver, it’s important to speak to a qualified legal professional regarding litigation for compensation.