5 Driving Laws in California You Should Know

a california mountainside roadway

While most people know the basics of California driving law, there are a few rules that drivers still seem to be reminded of. Whether you are a new driver or a California native, brush up on these five laws to stay safe and legal on the road.

You Cannot Drive Without a Seatbelt

Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts in both the front and back seats of a vehicle. This law applies to all vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, buses, and motorcycles. While some argue that seatbelts should not be mandatory, the evidence is clear that they save lives. Studies have shown that wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a car accident by as much as 65%.

You Cannot Use Your Phone While Driving

While this seems obvious, many drivers still risk their lives and the lives of those around them by engaging in distracted driving behaviors. In the state of California, it is illegal to use a cellular phone while driving unless the device is hands-free. This law applies to all drivers, regardless of age or license type. The use of cell phones while driving is a leading cause of accidents, so it is important to follow this law in order to help keep our roads safe.

You Must Yield to Pedestrians

Pedestrians have the right of way at all crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked. Drivers must also yield to pedestrians who are using wheelchairs, canes, or other mobility devices. If you see a pedestrian trying to cross the street, slow down and be prepared to stop. By following this simple rule, you can help to keep pedestrians safe and avoid getting a ticket.

You Have to Share the Road with Bicyclists

In California, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. This means that when bicyclists are riding on the road, motorists must share the road with them. Motorists must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists when turning and give them ample room when passing.

You Must Stop for School Buses Unloading/Loading Passengers

When approaching a school bus that is extending its stop sign and flashing its red lights, you must come to a complete stop and wait as the bus either loads or unloads its passengers. The exception to this law is when the school bus is on the other side of a multi-lane highway. In that scenario, you would not be obligated to stop.

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