California Bans Smartphone Maps Checking While Driving

Thinking about punching in updated directions on your smartphone while cruising in California? Think again. Over the years, states have been marching towards a highway system that's devoid of any texting, phone holding, etc. And that's a good thing, given that distracted driving can (and does) lead to far too many accidents. But if you're a smartphone owners, chances are high that you've taken a risk a time or two by punching in new directions on a GPS app while still in motion, or perhaps at a stoplight if you're one of the dutiful citizens of the road.

Now, however, a court ruling in California is making it illegal to use a mobile phone to check a GPS program. In other words, it may soon be illegal to use your phone as a navigational tool, as the court seems to lump that activity into the same camp as browsing the Internet while driving. That said, there are still loopholes that should make it okay for use in a completely handsfree scenario (as in, with use of a cradle + voice-activation), but if you ever have to reach down to touch your phone while driving, that's a no-no.

In all honesty, it's probably best for you to just go out and get a $10 universal cradle to begin with if your phone is your primary GPS device. Even if the law doesn't make its way fully into motion, it's always better to be safe than sorry on the roadways.