The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and California Office of Traffic Safety have joined together to combat distracted driving. By increasing education and enforcement efforts, they hope to bring down the number of distracted driving-related accidents and deaths.
As part of the “Adult Distracted Driving” campaign, CHP increased its enforcement efforts. That means officers on the street are watching extra closely for cell phone violations and other distractions, such as eating, putting on makeup, shaving, watching TV and reading. (Believe it or not, they’ve seen people read and drive!)
To help raise awareness to distracted driving habits, the law, and how to discontinue dangerous habits, CHP is conducting at least 600 traffic safety presentations. CHP’s Public Information Office says larger companies often bring them in to conduct safety presentations. It’ll be doing more of those during the Adult Distracted Driving campaign.
“Texting while driving results in longer reaction times than drunk driving,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley in a press release. “When driving, your attention must be on safety. Nothing on that phone is worth endangering your life or anyone else’s.”
California’s Cell Phone Rules
California law prohibits cell phone use when driving, except in hands-free mode. To avoid a ticket, the Public Information Office says you must place your phone in the center console–not in your hand–and you can manipulate it by swiping or tapping once.
• An emergency call to law enforcement, a medical provider, the fire department or another emergency service agency.
• Those operating emergency service vehicles.
• Those operating vehicles on private property.
Tips to Stop Distracted Driving
• iPhones with iOS and later and Pixel 2 and 3 have a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature that prevents notifications when it senses you’re driving. Turn it on. If you use Android, download a Do Not Disturb app such as Driving Detective.
• As an alternative, keep your phone in the glove compartment or turn it off completely.
• Get ready for work before you get in the car.
• Keep snacks packed up and eat them before or after you get in the car.
Why You Should Stop Distracted Driving
In 2017, more than 3,100 people died in accidents that involved distracted driving. That’s about 9% of all traffic-related deaths. Do you want to be responsible for an accident like that? Even taking your eyes off the road for a couple seconds–the time it takes to change a radio station–is time enough to cause a serious accident.
Follow Commissioner Stanley’s advice: that text can wait. Put the phone, the chips, and the compact away until you’ve arrived at your destination safely.
Were you involved in a collision with a distracted driver? Call our office for a free consultation.
Photo courtesy of Flickr