The CHP recently joined with other national law enforcement agencies in
promoting "Drowsy Driving Prevention Week."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a driver who has been awake
for 18 consecutive hours is equally as impaired as a driver with a BAC
of .05; after 24 consecutive hours, it's like driving with a .10 BAC.
In California in 2012, there were 3,900 collisions involving drowsy drivers.
These collisions injured 2,100 people injured and
Daydreaming, trouble remembering the last few miles, missing an exit and
disconnected thoughts are all telltale signs of drowsiness.
Most everyone realizes that driving under the influence is very dangerous.
But did you know that driving while texting is
six times more deadly than DUI (although it's also true that if you quit texting you're
back to normal, but if you quit drinking, you're still drunk). Moreover,
while DUI deaths have decreased over 50 percent since the 1980s, non-alcohol
related traffic fatalities have moved in the other direction, and increased
78 percent in the same period.
In response, California and most other states have banned texting while
driving, mostly because it's considered the most dangerous form of
distracted driving. When they text, motorists take their hands off the
wheel, their eyes off the road and their minds off the road.
But the California ban,
VC 23123, has some fairly large loopholes. The biggest one is the definition of
"cell phone use." Courts have held that using an app is not
"texting" within the meaning of the statute. An attorney practicing
in Tulare County can use arguments like this one to get the penalties
reduced, or even get the case thrown out, if you are cited for violating
the cell phone law.