Useful Laws All California Drivers Need to Know

When you get behind the wheel you are taking responsibility for your actions on the road. Seeing as the average car weighs over one ton and has the ability to operate at a very high speed, it is understandable that there are very specific laws for how one must drive. It comes with the territory and it helps keep everyone involved, from the drivers on the road to the pedestrians walking on the sidewalk.

Stop at Each Sobriety Checkpoint

Many people drink to celebrate, loosen up, and have a good time. As long as you meet the legal age requirement and consume in a safe environment, there is very little harm. However, problems come up when you try to mix this with driving a vehicle. Consuming alcohol can drastically alter your ability to make good decisions and act quickly, both of which are absolutely crucial when you are driving. Whenever you drive up to a sobriety checkpoint on the road, you need to be prepared to stop and allow the police to check your sobriety level.

Having a beer or two with dinner is fine but you need to watch your consumption. If a police officer determines that your blood-alcohol content level is too high for you to safely drive your car, you will be given a DUI and the police can legally impound your vehicle for at least a month. To avoid issues with the law, play it safe and know your limits.

Knowing the Right of Way

When you are driving, you will inevitably interact with someone who is not in a vehicle. The law states that pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks and intersections but you need to always be mindful of them. If a pedestrian is jaywalking or crossing your path in a parking lot, you should still be prepared to let them cross before you proceed. Hitting a pedestrian is still illegal and can land you in hot water with legal troubles and medical fees.

Using Your Phone

Screen usage is ubiquitous. From texting friends to watching videos, people use cellphones all the time. The issue with cellphones, however, is that they can be very distracting. Seeing as you need to stare at the screen to focus on what is on it, doing so can take your attention away from what is going on on the road. In California it is illegal to use your phone when you are driving, even if you are stopped at an intersection.

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.

New California Drivers And Cyclists Laws for 2019

One of the changes that you likely already know if you use HOV lanes frequently is that the old green or white Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) stickers no longer work for HOV lanes. If you got this sticker in the year of 2017, however, then you may be eligible to get yours replaced with a new red sticker that will last until January 1, 2022.

Perhaps the most surprising new law on this list for 2019 is the fact that kids under the age of 18 years old can now officially be issued a “fix it” ticket if they neglect to wear a helmet when they are out and about on their bikes.

This law also applies for kids under 18 who are on other things like skateboards and skates. This ticket is put on record and can be taken off of their record only if they complete a bicycle safety course and prove that they got a safety approved helmet within 120 days of receiving the ticket.

On the other hand, there is another law that came into effect this year that is completely the opposite. According to this law, people who ride motorized scooters no longer have to wear a helmet as long as they are 18 years or older. They are still only allowed to ride on certain roads, however, and they are encouraged to try to stay safe should they choose to take advantage of this.

Tips To Improve Your Driving Skills To Help You Pass Your Driving Test In California

The first and most important thing to do to improve your driving skills and prepare for your driving test is to practice! If you are not comfortable behind the wheel then you will be much more likely to make a mistake.

You also want to practice smoothing out your movements. While this can be hard to do when you are first learning, it should be something you get down before you go for your test. This means that you don’t want to slam on the brakes every time you stop or push the accelerator almost to the floor when you go.

Smooth driving also means that you should keep any movement on the part of the steering wheel as smooth as possible. Even when you turn, it should not feel too jerky and changing lanes should barely be noticeable.

Other things that you should practice is following at the proper distance and never getting closer than three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. Stay in the correct turning lane and know where you are supposed to stop at behind a stop sign.

Most of the time when you are first learning most of your attention is focused on driving the right speed, staying in your own lane, and other vital things that are right in front of you. However, as you grow more comfortable with these you should make yourself look into your mirrors more often to see what is around you.