Distracted Driving in California - Debunking 4 Myths

Apr 13, 17

Distracted Driving in California - Debunking 4 Myths

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The National Safety Council observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to the increasingly common safety hazard. From fiddling with our cell phones to munching on snacks, drivers attempt to multitask while driving.

Every 8 seconds someone is hurt in a car crash and thousands of people die every year from distracted driving. It only takes one distraction while driving that can change everything in your life. California has extremely strict laws with the highest fines for distracted driving. In 2017, California Vehicle Code 23123 was amended by AB-1785, which prohibits using electronic handheld devices including cell phones and smartphones while driving. Distracted Driving laws alone won’t change things. Educating drivers on just how dangerous it is to ignore these traffic laws may be a start. Here are 4 myths we want to debunk at Ticket Snipers.

Myth 1: Drivers Can MultiTask

The human brain cannot effectively do two things simultaneously. Your reaction time to either task is much slower than having single focus. The same is true with driving while talking on the phone - which are both thinking tasks.

Your attention to both tasks is not at 100%. If you have to slam on the brakes, there is a good chance the reduced reaction time will lead to a serious car accident.

Myth 2: Talking on Your Cell Phone is Same as Speaking to a Passenger

Passengers have two responsibilities: not to distract the driver and help navigate or point out road hazards. In essence, the passenger is your extra set of eyes. But when chatting with someone on the phone, that person on the other end has no idea of your driving situation. They don’t offer any assistance to your safety. They are a distraction.

Myth 3: Using My Phone at a Stoplight is Okay

Even at stoplights it is important to remain an attentive driver. Although you are stationary doesn’t mean that you are safe from other moving vehicles on the road. Accidents can happen at any time, and if you paying 100% attention to the road, you may be able to pull away from an oncoming collision.

Secondly, when the light turns green other drivers are ready to go. If you delay, it can cause confusion and road rage, which often leads to accidents. Be respectful of the other drivers around you.

Myth 4: Voice-to-Text is Safe to Do While Driving

Here are two common “rages” we experience: road rage and phone rage. As wonderful of an invention is Siri, it can sometimes mistake your voice command, like such:

You: Hey Siri. Text Justin ‘I’ll be a little late to dinner tonight’

Siri: OK. I will text Dustin ‘I’ll belly lay to dinner tonight’

You: No! No! That is not what I said! Who is Dustin?!

Siri: OK. What would you like to say Dustin?

Avoid the voice to text as much as possible. If the message is very important, pull over to send the text or make the phone call. Your life matters more than sending a message.

In conclusion, remember it only take one distraction to cause a serious accident. So stay safe and alert at all times while driving - for the safety of you, your passengers, and others on the road.

Here’s a great article from the New York Times titled Can a Law Stop Distracted Driving? California Hopes to Find Out.



Sources:

DMV Reminds Motorists of New 2017 Laws; December 19th 2016

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/newsrel/newsrel16/2016_36

Can a Law Stop Distracted Driving?; Jan 5th, 2017 - The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/us/cell-phone-while-driving-laws.html