What Counts as Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a very common task in this age. With cell phone use and navigation systems, drivers are more distracted than ever. You may be thinking, “What counts as distracted driving?” The answer is, pretty much anything. Anything you do that takes your eyes off the road counts as distracted driving. From eating, to talking to a friend. If your eyes are anywhere but on the road, you are officially distracted. We want to give you a breakdown of what distracted driving consists of, and what the consequences are. Keep in mind that these consequences are based in California, but may vary state by state, or county by county.
Cell Phones. Texting and calling are the most common, and perhaps most dangerous form of distracted driving. In 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. In California, texting and driving is a $20 fine for a first offense, however the amount you actually pay will be closer to $150 after other assessments are added. With cell phone use on the rise, California now has a law in place which prohibits drivers to even touch their phones.
Another common distracted driving has to do with the use, or lack of use, of your hands. This means drinking, eating, fixing the radio or navigation system, getting something out of your purse or bag, and helping a child with something while driving can be counted as distracted driving. This takes you eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. Make sure you set your navigation before you start driving, and pull over if you need to do anything that can be counted as distracting.
Some drivers who are distracted could be mentally distracted. For example, driving while angry, stressed, crying, or fighting with a passenger is not safe either. These can have an effect on your reaction time, as well as increase road rage. It is always better to ask someone to drive you if you are in a bad mental or emotional state. This also stands true when you are tired. Falling asleep while driving is extremely dangerous, and is more common than you may think. Be sure to pull over if you start getting tired, or switch drivers if you are on a road trip.
If your distracted driving causes an accident, the consequences can be more than just a fine. Distracted driving can cause fine, points on your license, and even criminal charges if someone gets hurt. This can also cause stress and guilt on your behalf. Remember the emotional and physical trauma that can come from distracted driving, and think before you act next time you get behind the wheel.
Keep in mind all the consequences that can come by simply taking your eyes, hands, and mind off the road. If your loved one is in jail from distracting driving, give us a call so we can help you bail them out!