Photo of Padilla Law Group's office interior

Trial Attorneys

Achieving Exceptional Results For Our Clients

Is it legal to look at my phone navigation while driving?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | Distracted Driving

Thanks to modern technology, finding your way to your destination is easier than ever. Simply open up an app on your phone, tell it where you want to go, and follow the step-by-step instructions.

With this technology, however, come new safety and legality concerns.

Can I get in trouble for using phone navigation?

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, using a handheld device while driving triples your risk of a crash. For this reason, it is illegal to use any handheld device while driving in California. Using a handheld device is a primary infraction, meaning the police can pull you over just for holding your phone in your hand, even if you are not committing any other violations.

For drivers under 18, the rules are even more strict. Minors may not use a cell phone while driving, even in hands-free mode.

For adult drivers, it is generally legal to use a hands-free device, including a cell phone. This means that you can legally use your phone to navigate with the help of a dashboard mount and voice commands.

Is it safe to use my phone navigation while driving?

Although it is legal, hands-free navigation is not without safety concerns.

Looking away from the road to view your phone screen can be a dangerous distraction, even if you only take your eyes off the road for a second. When using hands-free devices, always maintain a safe following distance and avoid tailgating.

Mobile devices can be useful tools, especially for people who travel frequently. However, one must obey the law and practice safe driving habits when using them.