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Cracking down on distracted driving in California

Smartphones and cars seem like they get more advanced every year. We always see an influx of new features and new apps that users are always eager to try out. However, one truth stays the same from year to year: driving while distracted by your phone is dangerous. In California, the state is now cracking down on distracting driving even more with Assembly Bill 1785. 

Overview

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 1785, which further restricts the use of mobile phones while drivers are behind the wheel. Specifically, the bill forbids the use of almost any action where you hold and use a phone while driving, with the exception of actions that require only "the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver's finger" on a phone that is safely mounted to a dashboard or windsheild.

While teens and other drivers had to previously beware rules against texting while driving, this bill is meant to crack down on the use of any other apps while the driver is behind the wheel. Drivers may face a $20 ticket for their first infraction and $50 tickets for any subsequent infractions.

How to stay safe behind the wheel?

The absolute best way to stay safe behind the wheel is to avoid using the phone entirely. This bill was essentially a response to the increase in the number of distracted drivers who were actively playing things like Pokemon Go even while they were driving, which is a potentially fatal mistake for drivers and pedestrians alike.

If you must take phone calls while behind the wheel, the safest thing to do is to safely mount your phone on the windshield or dashboard and answer the phone call using bluetooth headphones. This allows you to stay within the boundaries of Assembly Bill 175 and reduce the number of distractions involved with driving and talking.

What if you are injured by a distracted driver?

Despite California's resolve to crack down on distracted drivers, some people will inevitably break the law. You may end up in a car accident caused by someone who was distracted by their phone, and it's important that you know exactly what to do.

In this scenario, make sure that you contact your attorney for assistance. They can ensure that you receive a fair settlement and help you figure out what to do next, which can be difficult to determine for those who have just been in an accident. 

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