Car accidents happen every day in the U.S. to the tune of 2 million according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2021, about 42,915 people died in a fatal car crash. That same year, 4,285 people were killed in California traffic crashes. That’s about 12 every day. Although some accidents seem unavoidable, distracted driving crashes are 100% preventable. Texting while driving is preventable. You don’t have to pick up the phone if it rings while you’re behind the wheel either.
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From playing with the radio to using your cellphone
Distracted driving includes a variety of activities, all taking away your focus from the road. From applying makeup in the car to eating, reaching for something in the back seat, and playing with the radio. But distractions involving a cellphone like texting, talking, watching videos, viewing photos or maps, and scrolling through social media, probably get the most attention. There are plenty of driving safety campaigns around the topic. California’s Office of Traffic Safety promoted “Put Your Phone Down. Just Drive.” and “Go Safely, California”
57,446 citations for California cell phone violations
In California, it’s illegal use a cellphone while holding it in your hand. CA drivers only use it in a hands-free way, like having the phone on speaker, but never while holding it. Drivers 18 years old and under can’t use cellphones while driving for any reason. From October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022, California Highway Patrol officers issued 57,446 citations for cell phone violations. The year before, 9,733 people were injured and 96 people were killed in crashes in California caused by distracted driving.
To help curb distracted driving, CHP’s “Distracted Driving Education for Adult Drivers” traffic safety program is conducting at least 80 enforcement operations targeting adult distracted drivers. Plus 600 adult traffic safety presentations through September 2023.
Driving safety means 100% of your focus on the road. Using a cell phone while driving involves all three types of driving distractions. visual, manual, and cognitive. Your eyes see the call or text, use your hands to dial or text back, and your brain to respond or read a text.
SEE ALSO: MULTITASKING BEHIND THE WHEEL; HOW IT AFFECTS YOUR BRAIN
Driving distractions fines
A first offense of distracted driving is an infraction that’ll cost you $20 and $50 for a second one. But it gets pricier thanks to penalty assessments and fees, resulting in at least a fine of $162 for the first ticket you get, and $285 for a second citation. Plus, one point on your driver’s license if you’re convicted of a second cellphone offense within three years.