FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-12-13
Many motorists are aware of the risks associated with distracted driving; however, drivers continue to engage in this dangerous practice. Various news sources have detailed the hazards associated with texting, eating or talking on the phone while driving. However, sources report that there is a new problem on the horizon—webbing.
According to a new study by State Farm, Internet surfing on portable devices while driving is the latest danger. The practice, also known as “webbing,” is particularly common among teens. The frequency of this practice among young drivers has increased from 29 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2012.
While webbing is common for younger motorists, State Farm asserts that motorists of all ages are webbing while driving. Between 2009 and 2012, research found that the number of drivers using the Internet while operating a vehicle increased to 21 percent from 13 percent for all age groups.
California put laws into effect in 2008 and 2009, which restrict drivers from texting or using a cellphone while driving.
In 2008, the state completely prohibited the use of a cellphone while driving. Therefore, a driver cannot talk on a wireless phone while driving unless he or she is using a hands-free device, such as a Bluetooth, headset or car kit.
Including penalty assessments, the fine for a first offense is $76. A second offense is $190. A violation of the handheld cell phone ban is a reportable offense, which appears on a violator’s driving record.
All minors are prohibited from using wireless devices use while driving, including hands-free devices.
Furthermore, a motorist cannot write, transmit or read text-based communication on an electric wireless communications device while driving a motor vehicle. The law specifies that a driver may not use the Internet or send emails on a cellphone while driving. These activities are illegal even if the motorist is stopped in traffic.
The fine for violating this anti-texting law is $20 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. However, additional penalty assessments can add to the fines.
While states have used legislative efforts to prevent distracted driving, motorists continue to take serious risks on the road. Unfortunately, all it takes is a simple text message to compromise the life of another.
If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.