Posted on Apr 24, 2015 8:35am PDT

The lawyers at the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley have helped countless injury victims in and around the greater Sacramento area. The victims of auto accidents and their loved ones need skilled lawyers to help recover damages for medical expenses and property damage.

Now that cellphones are an essential part of everyday life, it should come as no surprise that a number of auto accidents occur as a result of driver distraction from using the phone. We'd like to focus on the issue of texting while driving and why this is so dangerous to everyone on the road.

Texting While Driving Laws in the State of California

Texting while you are driving a vehicle is strictly prohibited, and drivers are subject to a fine if they are caught. This means no writing text messages or reading text messages while you are behind the wheel. There are no exceptions.

There are related laws to note regarding cellphone use behind the wheel in California.

All drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from using cellphones while driving. That means even hands-free use is prohibited. If caught, violators are subject to a fine. (Making 911 calls are one of the few exceptions to this statute.)

Drivers over 18 can use hands-free cellphones to make phone calls and receive phone calls. The use of handheld phones while driving is strictly prohibited. Violators of the law are subject to fines. (Again, making 911 calls are one of the few exceptions to this statute.)

How common is texting while driving?

More common than you may think.

Roughly 50% of teenagers have admitted to talking on their phone while driving, and 34% of teens admit to texting while driving. It's estimated that 13% of drivers aged 18-20 were texting or talking on their mobile phones at the time of their motor vehicle collision.

The issue isn't restricted to teens, however.

At least one-quarter of adults have admitted to texting while driving, and roughly half of teens admit to seeing their parents talk or text while behind the wheel. In addition, it's estimated that one-in-five drivers of all ages have used the internet on their phone while behind the wheel.

How likely is an accident if you text while driving?

Highly likely.

When texting, you take your eyes away from the road for at least five seconds at a time. At highway speeds, you can cover the length of a football field in just five seconds.

Because of this, it's estimated that texting while driving makes a motor vehicle collision 23 times more likely.

Never Text While You Are Behind the Wheel

Given all of the dangers involved with texting while driving, it's important that you avoid texting while driving at all times when you are behind the wheel. Similarly, it's best to limit your use of the phone in general while you are driving. Do your best to dial numbers and make calls only when you are parked and safely out of traffic.

When receiving calls, be sure to use a hands-free set; if you do not have a hands-free set, wait until you are safely parked to check who called and to call that person back. Better to be safe than sorry.

Discuss Your Auto Accident Case with Our Personal Injury Attorneys

If you would like to learn more about your legal options following a serious auto accident, it's important that you contact our team of personal injury lawyers today. The team here at the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley will fight diligently for you and your loved ones.

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