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Increased Restrictions on Cell Phone Usage While Driving are Effective Immediately

 Posted on January 24,2017 in Car Accidents

San Jose, CA personal injury attorney, cell phone usageThe use of cell phones has increased greatly over the years. From bathrooms to highways, cell phones are everywhere. Moreover, distracted driving while using a phone for any reason is blamed for the deaths of nearly 3,200 Americans in 2014.

These massive numbers motivated legal officials to take a stand to protect our citizens. As of January 1, 2017, California lawmakers have made it illegal to hold a cellular device while driving a motor vehicle

Law Restrictions

California began cracking down on cell phone usage in cars in 2006, once mobile phones began to gain popularity as a staple in every pocket, purse, and briefcase throughout the United States. These devices have become less like the phones we once had and now similarly relate to computers with the number of capabilities available in each.

The expansion of the technology forces lawmakers to become more precise with what is and is not allowable. The list of unapproved behaviors include the following:

  • Talking;
  • Texting;
  • Checking maps;
  • Taking photographs;
  • Watching videos; and
  • All other distracting uses.

Allowances of the Law

For the safety of yourself, your passengers, and everyone else in the vicinity of your vehicle, the best practice is to leave the phone secured and out of sight. While out of sight may not specifically mean out of mind here, all of the notification sounds are less audible and visible, lessening the likelihood of a “quick peek.”

If the thought of being out of sight from your device is too much, or you are expecting life-altering news, the law provides the ability to use your phone if:

  • The device is mounted on the dash;
  • Voice-activation or hands-free use is set up;
  • You are emergency personnel driving an emergency vehicle; or
  • The system you are using is embedded into the vehicle.

Injured by a Negligent Driver?

Distracted driving is a major contributor to the amount of our nation’s motor vehicle accidents. Although there are many versions of distracted driving, such as eating or even talking to other passengers, the usage of a cell phone requires the visual, cognitive, and physical attention of the driver, taking it away from the most important duty at hand: to arrive at a destination safely. Those who still choose to impede on the rights of others open themselves up for a personal injury claim.

If you or a loved one is the victim of a distracted driver, you may be interested in discussing your legal options. If you would like to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable San Jose, CA personal injury attorney, contact the Law Office of John J. Garvey, III today. Call 408-293-7777 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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