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As California Passes Law Allowing for Hands-Free E-Mailing and Texting While Driving, Will This Lead to More Traffic Collisions?

December 31, 1969

This month, the state of California passed Assembly Bill 1536, which Governor Jerry Brown has now passed into law. The bill, which legalizes hands-free e-mailing and texting while driving, will go into effect on January 1, 2012 and amends the Vehicle Code's section 23123.5 which will now say that texting and other electronic wireless communication while operating a motor vehicle is acceptable as long done without use of the hands--meaning, via voice activation.

One can't help but wonder whether this type of texting and e-mailing while operating a motor vehicle is truly safer than hands-on texting and emailing while driving. Most voice-operated devices lack the technology to make this an effortless and seamless process. Many of them require multiple prompts and for the speaker to repeat themselves more than once. There are even voice activate devices that are more likely to incorrectly what the speaker is saying and type out the wrong words and phrases. Won't this mean that texting and emailing drivers will be more prone to distraction and taking their eyes off the road as they double check what is being written and make repeated corrections?

The bill was supposedly geared not necessarily for phones but for in-dash navigation and messaging systems so that operating them would be legal. Still, seeing as so many motorists continue to engage in hands-on text while driving now, even though it is illegal in California, it can be hard to imagine these same people not availing of this new law.

Anaheim car crash attorney Vincent Howard represents clients injured in Southern California traffic crashes because of distracted drivers and he is very familiar with how multi-tasking on the road has negatively impact the lives of so many people. Please contact Howard Law, PC today.

Responding to California's new law, the National Safety Council issued a statement about how this legislation is "potentially dangerous." It also noted that no evidence or research exists proving that hands-free texting is any safer than texting involving the actual use of the fingers. The NSC is worried that the already high death toll (about 35,000 people a year) caused by traffic crashes, which is already the leading cause of fatalities for Americans ages 5 to 35, will only get higher as a result.

Texting while driving can cause injuries as serious as those involving collisions where the driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs. It just takes a few seconds for a crash to happen. Trying to drive while composing and email and making sure it is properly sent takes the brain's focus and attention off the task at hand. Meantime, the driver's body is engaged in multiple activities, which can delay its ability to respond rapidly in the event of an Orange County, California distracted driving accident.

Santa Ana car crash attorney Vincent Howard is known for building solid cases for his clients while protecting their legal rights.

California Passes Bill Legalizing Hands-Free Texting While Driving, Daily Tech, July 18, 2012

‚ÄčNSC statement on CA's 'Voice to Text' law, National Safety Council


More Blog Posts:
What You Do After A Southern California Car Crash Can Impact Your Chances of Obtaining the Maximum Recovery, California Injury Lawyers, July 28, 2012

Tire Blowouts Can Lead to Deadly Orange County, California Car Injury Lawyers Blog, June 21, 2012

California Distracted Driving: Study Reports Rise in Number of Motorists Talking on Cell Phone While Driving, California Car Injury Lawyers Blog, May 9, 2012

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