Phone Usage Laws while Driving in California

Phone usage can be found nearly everywhere. The modern cellphone is a powerful tool that can be used for all sorts of things, such as communicating with people via messaging apps, sending emails back and forth, listening to music, taking photos, playing games, and even watching movies. The concept of the phone has evolved far beyond being a way for you to make and receive voice calls.

Although phone usage has become such a big part of people’s lives, there are some areas where you need to be mindful of how you use it.

Do Not Use While Driving

California, much like many other states, has laws that prohibit the use of phones while you are driving. As useful as they are, phones can be incredibly distracting. Even looking down for a few seconds to change a song, read a message, or take a photo can be more than enough time for something bad to happen on the road.

In California, it is illegal for any driver to have a phone in their hand while they are driving. Having a phone in your hand means there is one less hand on the steering wheel. Having a phone in your hand can also tempt you to check it. Another laws prevents drivers under the age of 18 from using a phone, even if it is in a hands-free position. That being said, these general laws only apply to the person who is behind the wheel. All passengers in the car are free to use their phone as they please, as long as it does not distract the driver.

Hands-Free Use

There are some general cases where the average driver is allowed to use their phone like in a hands-free position. A phone mounted in a holder is fine if it is simply being used for navigation purposes or to change between songs. Using your phone for map navigation only requires you to glance over every now and then for updates and it does not require you to even touch it.


Although California has laws in place that prevent drivers from using their phones while they are behind the wheel, there are some exceptions to the rules. The biggest and most obvious situation is when there is an emergency of some sort. If you need to contact the fire department, a hospital, the authorities, or any other party, regarding an emergency situation, you are free to contact them immediately. These sorts of situations require quick responses.

Bizarre Traffic Laws in California

Knowing the laws in your country is important so you have an idea of what sort of behavior is acceptable and what sort of behavior is not. Driving is no different. When you get the behind the wheel to operate a vehicle, no matter if that is to drive to a cafe or to deliver packages across town for work, you need to be aware of how you should drive.

Some laws may seem a bit obvious and more common sense, such as not hitting pedestrians and waiting for the light at an intersection to turn green before you proceed. Other laws, on the other hand, may seem a bit bizarre. These laws might seem very specific or less obvious to the average driver but they are nevertheless laws that must be obeyed.

Speed Limit for Driverless Cars

In California it is illegal for cars that do not have a driver to go beyond 60 miles per hour. On the surface this might seem like a crazy idea but it is not as absurd as you may believe. As technology continues to advance, more and more companies are looking into the next steps for the modern vehicle. By pushing the boundaries of what can be done with technology, car manufacturers have developed algorithms and sensors to make self-driving cars a reality in the near future.

Although the concept has not yet been perfected, this law has been put in place to put a limit on how these driverless cars can be operated. The faster a car gets, driver or not, the tougher it can be to control and the bigger threat it can pose out on the road.

Hunting From Your Car

In California, one of the more bizarre laws out there is that you are legally not allowed to hunt from a moving vehicle. This means that you cannot shoot at an animal if your car is in motion, unless you are hunting a whale. Hunting from a moving car sounds dangerous enough, so this first part of the law sounds reasonable. There are plenty of roads that run along the coast, where you might find a whale, but the actual act of hunting whales has been illegal in the state for over 40 years. From a practical standpoint, it might make more sense to try to hunt a whale from a boat out in the open water but the fact still stands that this is an activity that can get you in legal trouble.