“I can’t talk right now, I’m driving,” is a common phrase uttered thousands of times by state residents who cannot use handheld devices while behind the wheel. In fact, texting, playing a game, surfing the internet, and talking on the phone while using a handheld device are illegal actions in many states (including our state of California). However, many workers in California cannot afford to be “off the grid” while driving, which means they use hands-free devices to stay in constant contact with clients, friends, and family. Although state laws permit the use of hands-free devices when operating a motor vehicle, a decision to talk while driving can have legal ramifications.
Distracted Driving Can Be Negligence
Many legal statutes take a general approach when defining the phrase, “distracted driving.” To demonstrate this, a typical legal definition of distracted driving meets these requirements:
- Performing any action that is not necessary to operate a motor vehicle; and
- Impairs (or theoretically should impair) the driver’s ability to drive safely
These simple rules dictate that the following actions can make a case for distracted driving:
- Putting on makeup
- Using a hands-free device to talk on the phone
You may be thinking that hands-free devices do not require your hands (unlike the other mentioned examples); and therefore, you should be off the hook. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Hands-Free Devices Distract You from Driving
Research shows that using hands-free devices to talk on the phone while driving causes the same amount of distraction as talking on the phone while using a handheld device. Additionally, research reveals that using a voice-to-text email system while driving is worse than talking on the phone with a handheld device! Therefore, in a situation where someone causes an accident due to use of a hands-free device, he or she is likely to be found at fault for the incident and may be liable to pay damages if another party was involved.
Injured by a Distracted Driver? We Can Help!
If you were injured by a driver who was talking, texting, or otherwise distracted, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for your wounds. People shouldn’t have to pay for the medical bills, the missed work, and the other expenses they face when they are injured by another’s negligence, and that is why we exist. We at the Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus understand that mistakes happen, but we also believe that paying for someone else’s mistake is unfair. If you think that you were injured due to a distracted driver, use our number below to call our office. We are prepared to hear your story!