California Motor Vehicle Code 21701 makes it a crime to tamper with the driving mechanism of a car or cause the driver to lose control due to horseplay or distraction.
Teen drivers are the most common drivers cited under this law. Often they get into vehicles together and forget that one of them needs to focus on the road. Many states have enacted laws that restrict the number of teen drivers that can be alone in a car together. This is for the safety of the teens and other drivers on the roads. In California, any teenage driver who has had their license for less than a year may not have other teenage passengers in the car unless an adult is also present in the car. Since this law was enacted, the California Highway Patrol estimates that nearly 700 teenage lives have been saved.
Driving is a privilege and not a right. You must drive in a safe manner at all times, or those driving privileges may be revoked. If you are caught distracting the driver and there is an accident with injuries, you can be in serious trouble. You will be ticketed, have fines and points added to your license, and you could even receive jail time. You don’t want to be in a car where the driver is concentrating on you and not on his or her driving. Be safe and don’t distract your driver.
Distracted drivers make up a large percentage of fatal crashes each year. Since California enacted a law limiting the number of teenage passengers allowed in a car at one time, teenage driving fatalities have decreased by 40-percent. Even more accidents can be avoided if all passengers remember not to distract their drivers. By driving responsibly and safely, many serious accidents can be avoided.
If a distracted driver injures you in an accident, you may have rights under the law. Whether you were a bicyclist, a pedestrian, or the driver of another automobile, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries.
Drivers who allow passengers to distract them — and the passengers themselves — may be guilty of negligence, infliction of emotional distress or wrongful death. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer such as those at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys to discuss your legal options.
To find out more on this and other traffic laws, please see the complete listing of California Motor Vehicle Codes.