California’s Hands Free Law: What You Need to Know

Since it was first instituted in 2006 and taken into effect in 2008 there have been a lot of changes to California’s hands free law. What does this mean for you and your family? In today’s post we’re going to share with you the details and explain what this means for your daily commute. Especially, given the changes that were made in 2017. Let’s begin by looking at the outline of the law and what you need to know.

The Law Outline

According to California’s hands free law drivers are not permitted to hold their cell phone in their hand while driving. In the past you could access your phone if you were using it for directions or navigation. That is no longer the case!

If you wish to use your phone while driving it must be through handsfree software such as talk to text or verbal commands. Because drivers are not allowed to hold their phones while driving they are permitted to install mounts or holders on their dash or windshield. As long as the installed device holder does not interfere with any manufacture airbags. Or inhibit the drivers ability to operate their vehicle. Visit the Office of Traffic Safety for more information and stats regarding this law.

Practical Tips

When you or a loved one is preparing to visit or head out for their regular California commute here are a few helpful tips to stay safe.

  • Pick Your Playlist. If you choose to listen to music on your drive we recommend picking your playlist before your start your car. This way you don’t find yourself scrolling through your tunes trying to find just the right song.
  • Set Your Navigation. We understand sometimes you need a little help getting to somewhere new or vaguely familiar. If that’s the case just like your music set your navigation before you begin your drive. Even if you have to ignore the first few steps it’s better to do that then to set up your navigation in the middle of your drive!
  • Mute Your Phone. Fortunately, many phones nowadays come with an optional “mute” or “do not disturb” function that will temporarily turn off all notifications. Meaning you can drive without the constant reminder that you’re missing out on texts, tweets or calls. This is especially good if you suffer from FOMO and can’t resist peeking at your social media notifications.
  • Make a Choice. While all of these tips can be helpful there’s nothing better than making a choice to not drive distracted. Set your phone down where you can’t reach it and commit to making a choice that will help keep our roads safe. Don’t drive distracted!