Is it illegal to even hold your phone while driving?

A recent internet scam claimed that California passed a heavy new law. This scam says that you could be fined up to $10,000, and lose your license, for even holding your cell phone while driving. Honestly, most folks would believe that, based on what they’ve heard and seen about California. The problem is, it’s not true.

California does have a law saying you can’t use your phone while driving. It is a primary offense, meaning you can be pulled over for it. But the fines are not that big. California’s not the only state with heavy laws about using a cell while driving. In fact almost every state has some sort of law against actively using your cell while driving, especially if you are doing it in a way that takes your attention from the road.

Why is using your phone while driving such an issue?

According to recent statistics, up to 26% of accidents involved some sort of distracted driving. We all know we should be totally aware of the road while operating our cars and trucks. We all know that the phone should wait. But, we all do it. We all find the lure of that little glass brick irresistible. The only thing we can do is find a way to deal with it.

Best ways to go handsfree

Ideally, we’d all wan

t to put the phone away while we’re driving. Sometimes we need to check a map or address along the way. If you find yourself interacting with your phone in order to check out where you’re going, the best thing to do is use some sort of cradle or mount. Personally, I think if you’re going to mount your phone, you should also get a little benefit out of it.

This is weBoost’s Drive Sleek booster. Not only does it mount your phone where you can see it, but it also increases signal reception by up to 1,000 times. It’s a must-have for those areas where reception is spotty, and it will help you get better reception in congested areas where you’re going to be stuck.

There are certainly other cradles and mounting solutions that are far less expensive. Personally I think that if you get a cradle and you don’t pair it up with improved signal strength, you’re missing out on a great opportunity.

CarPlay and Android Auto: now you’re talking

If you do a lot of talking, you’re going to want to add Bluetooth to your car, unless you already have it. Even simple Bluetooth systems might not be enough though. Do they let you dial by voice? Do they give you access to all your contacts? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade.

You’ve probably heard of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. They’re technologies that let you connect your phone to your car. The phone becomes an integral part of the entertainment system, and you don’t have to touch the phone at all. That means you are 100% in the clear as far as the law goes.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled devices replace your car’s radio and entertainment system with a large touchscreen. It may not make sense but it’s legal to touch that built-in touchscreen even when it’s not legal to touch the phone.

You’ll get the premium voice experience with sound that comes through your car’s speakers and the ability to have always-up-to-date maps. It’s a luxury solution that works with almost any car. You can install yourself, or if you’re not familiar with doing this sort of thing in today’s modern cars, find a local shop that can do the work for you.

Solid Signal has several of these devices available and ready to ship.

The real solution: pay attention

You can still get in an accident even if you follow the letter of the law. If you’re distracted by something in your car and you cause an accident, you’ve still caused an accident. All of these solutions will help you keep from being distracted but… it’s still up to you not to be distracted.


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.