April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month Throughout California

 April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month Throughout CaliforniaPolice Crack Down on Drivers Using Cell Phones in April

Dangerous, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,142 people throughout the United States in 2020, not just in April during distracted driving month. However, this is the month that local and state police are hoping to spread awareness of the dangers and reduce distracted driving.

Roughly 9 percent of the overall 38,824 fatal collisions in 2020 are due to a distracted motorist. Also, roughly, 424,000 people are injured in distracted driving crashes every year.

Drivers who pay attention to the road and other motorists are the safest and are least likely to be involved in a collision, according to the NHTSA.

The most serious cases of distracted driving typically involve a driver texting, reading or talking on their cell phones. These actions can take a driver’s attention off the road for at least five seconds. At 55 mph, it’s like driving with your eyes shut for the length of an entire football field.

However, any activity that diverts attention from driving can result in a collision or could lead to a ticket.

Police often spot drivers fumbling around in their vehicle while they eat, drink, talk or interact with other people. A common problem is drivers fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system. Police will cite a motorist for anything that takes their attention away from safe driving.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

 April is Distracted Driving Awareness MonthLocal police departments will be actively watching out for distracted drivers throughout the month of April. Those who violate the state’s hands-free cell phone law will get a $20 ticket plus assessments of roughly $150 for a first offense. Last year, the CHP issued 20,000 citations to drivers in the month of April for using their cell phone while driving.

“Holding your phone and using it while driving is not only dangerous, but also illegal,” said Sergeant Noel Rivas of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. “For the safety of your family and others on the road, put the phone away and focus on driving.”

Nearly three out of every four drivers surveyed say texting is their biggest safety concern. Yet the problem persists. The threat of fines hasn’t slowed the problem. Also, drivers should know that a second violation within 36 months of a first fine, will add a point to their driving record. The fines are also higher at $5o plus $250 in assessments.

Police advise motorists to pull over to a safe parking spot to make important calls, read texts or send and receive emails. Also, police tell drivers to silence their phone while driving to avoid temptations or place it out of reach.

Local law enforcement and CHP stations were provided a grant to step up patrols. The grant came from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Johnson Attorneys Group handles cases involving distracted driving throughout California. Our law firm is also a longtime supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). If you have a legal question and would like to speak with an attorney about a potential case, contact us at 1-800-235-6801 to request a free case review.

James Johnson

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