California is a beautiful state with breathtaking views, perfect for road trips. This state is home to famous roads such as Route 66 and Avenue of the Giants and has over 50,000 miles of good-quality freeways and highways. These link to the entire state and additional routes to niche towns. However, no matter where you drive in California, it is best to know the basics. Below is a rundown of what to know about California’s rules of the road before you begin your journey!
Follow California’s Road Safety Guidelines
Driving in California can be a joy when you’re taking the scenic routes along the coastal highway. But it can also be frustrating when you’re stuck in the infamous traffic jams in larger cities. You need to know the basic driving rules and regulations to avoid tickets and accidents.
- Every driver is required to have auto insurance to drive legally.
- It’s against the law in California to send, write, or read text messages while driving, and you must use a Bluetooth device when speaking on the phone.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited.
- The speed limit in business or residential areas is 25 MPH, and the speed limit for two-lane undivided highways is 55 MPH. The speed limit for highways or interstates is between 65 and 70 MPH.
- If a trolley, bus, or streetcar is stopped at an intersection or safety zone, the speed limit is 10 MPH.
- Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seat belt.
- It’s illegal to leave a parked car running if the driver is not present.
- It’s illegal to smoke in a vehicle if minors are present.
Practice Safe Driving
Practicing safe driving can help prevent traffic accidents. Drunk, aggressive, distracted, and fast driving are dangerous behaviors that can cause accidents. Remember to always stay calm while driving, and use only hands-free devices when driving. Only get behind the wheel when you’re in a sober and awake state of mind.
As stated above, in order to drive legally in the state of California, you must have auto insurance. Auto insurance helps protect you and your passengers from financial loss in the event of theft, damage, or an accident.
Keep Up With New California Road Laws
It’s best practice to keep up with California’s traffic and road laws. California has plans to help reduce road accidents and deaths of drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. California’s legislature has passed several road laws in the last year. Some of these laws include:
Sideshow Street Racing Penalties
California recently passed a law to curb illegal street racing statewide. The bill applies penalties against illegal speed racing and any acts of speed, including performing stunts, revving engines, and burning out tires. Penalties include a suspended driver’s license for between 90 days and six months.
Unattended Children in Motor Vehicles
An individual who damages or breaks into a vehicle while rescuing a child six years and under from a car will be exempt from civil or criminal liability. Individuals are now required to take steps before entry. They must call 911, ensure the vehicle is locked and forced entry is the only way of access, and believe the child is in danger and needs rescue.
License Points for Distracted Driver
Drivers found violating the law by using mobile devices while driving for the second time within 36 months will be fined and have points added to their driving record. Save yourself the trouble and invest in a hands-free device or use Bluetooth while driving in California (and everywhere else).
Driving safely and following the state’s traffic laws can prevent accidents, help you stay out of trouble, and potentially save you money. By following our guide on what to know about California rules of the road, you’ll be coasting along the highway in no time.