Rules of the Road For California Drivers | YourMechanic Advice

Rules of the Road For California Drivers

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While you know the rules of the road in your own state, that does not mean that those in other states are the same. If you plan to travel or even move to California, you’ll need to make sure you are aware of any laws that differ from your home state. Below are some of the rules of the road for California drivers of which you need to be aware.

Seat belts

  • Children under 2 years of age who weigh less than 40 pounds or are under 3’ 3” tall must be in a rear-facing child safety seat.

  • The driver and all passengers who are 4’ 9” or taller or 8 years of age are required to wear safety belts.

  • Children younger than eight must be in an appropriate safety seat for their height and weight.

  • Children weighing less than 20 pounds, under 1 year old or who are in rear-facing safety seats can’t ride in the front seat if the vehicle has a passenger airbag.

Cell phones

  • It is illegal for a minor with either a permit or a driver’s license to use a cell phone while driving.

  • Drivers 18 and older can only use cell phones with voice and hands-free operation.

Right of way

  • Pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle riders have the legal right of way, even if performing an illegal maneuver.

  • Drivers must yield right of way if not doing so will cause an accident.

  • A driver that is facing downhill on a steep, narrow road must back up to allow the vehicle driving uphill to pass.

  • Funeral processions have the right of way.

Parking

  • It is illegal to leave a parked vehicle running when the driver is not present.

  • When parallel parking, the tires of the vehicle must be within 18 inches of the curb.

  • It is illegal to park on the wrong side of the street, such as when parking is allowed on one side only.

General rules

  • Bicycles - Bicycles ridden after dark must have either a red reflector or a red flashing light that includes a reflector on the rear.

  • Slower moving vehicles - Drivers who have five or more vehicles directly behind them on two-lane roads are required to pull over when it is safe to do so to allow them to pass.

  • Traffic accidents - If a driver is involved in an accident that causes $1,000 or more in property damages, he or she is required to submit a Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California form.

  • Unlicensed drivers - It is illegal for a person to loan a vehicle to a person who does not have a license or has a suspended or revoked license.

  • Unattended children - Children under the age of 6 can’t be left in a vehicle alone. A child 12 or older can supervise younger children.

  • Passing - If a trolley, bus or streetcar is stopped at a safety zone or intersection, the maximum speed limit for passing is 10 MPH.

  • Three second rule - Drivers must follow the “three second rule,” which means there must be three seconds of space or more between you and the vehicle in front of your vehicle.

  • HOV lanes - Drivers must follow the posted minimum number of people in vehicles permitted in the High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (HOV). However, low emission/hybrid vehicles with a decal from the DMV and motorcycles can use the HOV lanes unless otherwise posted.

  • Headlights - Headlights must be turned when weather conditions require the use of windshield wipers.

  • Sight seeing It is illegal to drive to a location where an accident, fire or other type of disaster has occurred and is in the process of cleanup in order to sight see.

  • Smoking - It is illegal to smoke in a vehicle if minors are present.

Following these rules of the road will make sure you are legal when driving in California. If you need additional information, please check the California Driver Handbook.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1861 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper Clubman - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Silverado, California
He arrived early, went straight to work, and it should have been quoted higher as it’s a Mini which takes longer than the average break job. He didn’t try to get more than the quoted amount. He even set out to replace a running light for me when he was finished. I thought there would hard sales telling me I needed more work but there wasn’t. Because he didn’t try to sell me more work, I will use him again. When I hired a mechanic I don’t want a salesman. 
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Irvine, California
Chris again has provided great Service. Everything was great. I was very happy with the work and will definitely have him return for any other work.

Bryant

11 years of experience
408 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant has done great work on my car before, the latest work is no exception. He's very flexible, and goes the extra mile to get you back on the road.
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

Edmar

21 years of experience
184 reviews
Edmar
21 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Euless, Texas
Edmar always does a very good job. He's done a few different things on my car the last two years. Each job was performed very fast and top quality. Thank you once again.

Mazyar

7 years of experience
255 reviews
Mazyar
7 years of experience
Jaguar XF - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
He was early, courtesy and actually helped me save some money since i didn't need all the work that i thought i needed done. Honest guy. Very knowledgeable. Great attitude.

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