Countless campaigns to educate and raise awareness about the dangers of driving and cellphone use have had various levels of success. In spite of those efforts, numerous drivers of all ages in the Golden State continue to distract themselves with cutting-edge technology.

Troubling trends

Statistics reveal that cell phone use of any kind can increase the chances of a crash by 300 percent. Even more alarming is the young smartphone culture composed of essentially new and inexperienced drivers as young as 16 years old.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than half of teen drivers admitted to smartphone use while driving. Twenty-five percent confessed to texting behind the wheel of a moving car within the previous 30 days.

Zero tolerance for teen driving and cell phone use

California’s laws are clear when it comes to young people texting and driving. Anyone younger than 18 cannot use any form of wireless communication while driving, whether it is handheld or hands-free phones and text message devices.

Simply put, they must keep their hands on the steering wheel. Violating the law can result in serious criminal consequences. The split-second distraction could also result in a serious and fatal accident.

Learned behavior from parents

Parents play a pivotal role in setting good and safe examples while traveling in a motor vehicle. When teenagers reach the age where they can drive legally, they pay more attention to their mom and dad’s driving habits. If one of those common tendencies is picking up their cell phone to talk or text, a child’s natural inclination is to mimic that behavior.

A driver’s license is a milestone that should represent not only independence but also safe and attentive traveling where a smartphone is left untouched.


By Maho | Prentice, LLP Attorneys at Law on March 20, 2021