CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Texting and Driving in California (with Infographic)

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 me about the state's distracted driving law. I am Ed Smith, one of the highest rated auto accident personal injury attorneys in California with over 3 decades of experience. In this article, we'll talk about California's law on distracted driving.

Texting while drivingCalifornia 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 voice-operated and hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to a text-based communication, and it is used in that manner while driving.(reference –

Distracted Driving Statistics
  • There are 2,758 Traffic fatalities every year in California. (reference
  • 18% of all fatal auto accidents are crashes are caused by distractions. (reference –
  • Reading text messages on a cell phone while driving involves visual, manual, and mental distraction.
  • Reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds (reference –
  • 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. The penalties are not very high, and unfortunately, many young drivers believe they can text and drive with no problem. The problem is it only takes once to change someone's life in a devastating way.

In the last 30+ years, I have seen several different types of injuries including cervical sprains. If you have been injured feel free to contact me for a free consultation. I can be reached at 916.921.6400 or (800) 404-5400 I work in Sacramento and cover injuries all over the state. If someone else is better suited for your case I can refer you to one of the many attorneys that I have a relationship with. I also have put together a huge Q&A related to auto injuries here: Auto Accident FAQs.

Client Reviews
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.