The month of April is being commemorated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but few states will mark these 30 days as strongly as California will. The country’s most populous state also has some of the strongest laws against distracted driving. It was one of the first states to enact laws banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving and texting while driving. Not surprisingly, there are special distracted driving awareness campaigns planned in Los Angeles over this month, including extra crackdowns.
These laws haven’t worked as well as Los Angeles car accident lawyers have hoped however. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, despite these laws, motorists in California continue to use hand-held cell phones and text while driving. The Los Angeles Police Department therefore has promised to focus harder on combating distracted driving this month. The LAPD will have a zero-tolerance policy for cell phone use and texting while driving this month. If you’re texting while driving in Los Angeles, expect police officers on duty to pull you over. Those who are pulled over can expect penalties that can exceed $250.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving contributes to more than 6,000 accident fatalities every year. While much of the focus this month will be on the distractions from cell phone use while driving, there are other distractions that can initiate a fatal or injurious accident. These include reading, changing radio stations and performing any other activities that take attention away from the road.
This April, and the rest of the year, switch off your cell phone while driving or put it out of reach when you get into the car. Change your voicemail to let callers know that you are unable to take their calls while you’re driving. If you need to make an emergency call or have to take an important call, do so safely.