Driving in California is an adventure. Multiple climates and conditions, from miles of open desert highway to traffic jams in huge urban centers, from old forests to coastal vistas, the Golden State has it all. Here are tips for happy driving in California.
California takes speed limits seriously. If you think you can get away with doing your own thing, think again. Speed limit laws in California are enforced by aircraft. You might not have any idea your excessive speed has been clocked until you are pulled over a mile or two down the road by a police offer who was informed by those in the aircraft.
Even with careful driving, vehicle crashes sometimes happen. The most important thing to do first is to make sure everyone is unhurt. You may not need to report the accident if it was minor with very little or no vehicle damage, but often you do need to report it to the California Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days.
- Report if someone was injured.
- Report if someone was killed.
- Report if vehicle damage exceeds specific amounts.
Although you may not contact California law enforcement at the scene, if the other driver is at fault and you are having trouble with the process, you may want to consider contacting an experienced car accident lawyer to help you.
Lanes marked with painted diamond shapes are for carpools. They are meant for vehicles carrying at least two people, including the driver. Beware of trying to use them when alone to skirt by heavy traffic, especially in large urban areas. You could face a large fine of hundreds of dollars just for trying to save a few minutes.
Since parts of California are prone to severe winter weather that makes for dangerous driving conditions, be prepared during the cold months. All drivers might be required to use snow tires and/or chains. Some roads, especially those through the mountains, may have to be closed. Make sure you know the latest news about road conditions and current restrictions or closures before you set out on any winter trip.
California wants drivers to pay attention when operating vehicles. Therefore, it is illegal to text or read electronic messages when behind the wheel of a moving car or truck on the state’s roadways. These eyes-on-the-road laws also require drivers to use hands-free devices to talk on a mobile phone when operating a vehicle.
California imposes personal safety laws to protect all using the state’s roadways. Motorcyclists must wear helmets. Every person in a vehicle must wear a seatbelt. Children must be properly restrained in moving vehicles according to state law.
California boasts multiple climates and terrains, from an ocean coast to old-growth forest to empty, blazing desert. Driving through this state is quite an experience, but along the miles of highways, there are plenty of rules you need to follow for safety. That way, you are ready wherever the road takes you.