Texting and Driving in California


Being distracted by a cell phone while driving can lead to dangerous scenarios. This has led California to implement a distracted driving law, which bans drivers from using handheld cell phones, with certain exceptions. These include making emergency calls and for those who are driving emergency vehicles.

If you have been injured by someone who was texting and driving in California, feel free to reach out to our Sacramento personal injury lawyers at (916) 921-6400 about the state's distracted driving law. 

California Texting Laws


California vehicle code 23123.5 states: A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication, unless the electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow a voice-operated and hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to text-based communication, and it is used in that manner while driving. 

Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention from the task of safe driving. They include texting or talking on your phone, talking to your passengers, eating, drinking, and playing with the radio or the navigation system. Safe driving requires your full attention on the road. Therefore, any activity you engage in other than driving is a distraction and can increase your chance of getting into an accident. 

Below are texting and driving statistics:
  • There are 2,758 traffic fatalities every year in California.
  • 18% of all fatal accidents are caused by driver distractions.
  • Reading text messages on a cell phone while driving involves visual, manual, and mental distractions.
  • Reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds 
  • You can cover the length of a football field while reading a text. (A vehicle going 55 MPH covers just over 80 feet per second. 80 feet times 4.6 seconds equals 368 feet. A football field is 360 feet).

Texting and Driving Video

This video shows that texting while driving is just like driving blind:

If You Have Been Injured by a Distracted Driver

Even though texting and driving is illegal in California, it is still a common occurrence. Unfortunately, the penalties are not very high, and unfortunately, many young drivers believe they can text and drive with no problem. The problem is that it only takes one texting and driving crash to change someone’s life devastatingly.

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

Since 1982, our legal team has seen several different types of injuries, including cervical sprains. If you have been injured, feel free to contact our injury lawyers for a free consultation. We can be reached at 916.921.6400 or (800) 404-5400.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See our client reviews on AvvoGoogle, and Yelp and our past cases on our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.24.21]

Photo by Damir Kopezhanov on Unsplash
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