One of the most significant issues society faces today is distracted driving. It is easy enough to do, and can cost everyone dearly when a driver causes an accident because of it. Unfortunately, every time we leave our homes via a California roadway, be it a commute to work or to run errands, we run the risk of crossing paths with a distracted driver.
Distracted driving means that you are doing something else when you should have your hands and attention on the road; so, when you take your eyes off the road, even for a second, you are considered driving distracted.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 3000 people were killed in the United States alone due to distracted driving in a recent year.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to a distracted driving accident then speak with our experienced auto accident attorneys today to discuss your potential compensation.
Most Common Types of Distracted Driving
- Texting or Using a Smartphone
- Changing the Radio/weather, or another device
Texting or Using a Smartphone
Most of the distracted driving cases that we see today are related to texting or using a Smartphone. Whether reading a text, sending a quick text, or scrolling social media while driving, it is distracting, and often causes drivers to look away from the road for long periods.
Grabbing your drink or even taking bites of your food while driving can also be distracting. Drivers have caused accidents by attempting to, for example, juggle a drink in one hand while eating food with the other. This takes all the attention away from the road and cars around them.
Changing the Radio
Your passenger should find the right tunes while you drive. Drivers who are leaning over to adjust the climate inside the cabin or find a new radio station are taking their eyes off of the road and redirecting their attention to other areas of the vehicle. Depending on how long it takes to make these changes, the driver is likely distracted for that period.
Driving for long periods, it’s easy to begin daydreaming or even fall asleep if you haven’t stopped for rest recently. Long stretches of highways and interstates see many accidents due to a driver daydreaming or even falling asleep at the wheel.
There are several ways you can be distracted when driving, including paying attention to the passengers in your vehicle more than on the road. Distracted driving happens to many of us, but only some of us face an extended responsibility because of it.
Statistics on Distracted Driving
Of all the car accidents in a recent year, 47 percent of the drivers (of all ages) caused the accident due to a severe distraction, such as texting or streaming on smartphones or other devices.
Due to the number of distractions, drivers who engage in them are three times more likely to cause an accident and be responsible for significant damages to themselves and others.
When you are distracted by something in your car, the average amount of time is 5 seconds, which is just enough time to cause an accident by not slowing down or stopping in time.
Distracted Driving Laws In California
There are several laws currently in place in California for distracted driving, and how it impairs the driver’s ability to focus.
- No Cell Phones for 18 & Under
- Devices Must be Hands-Free when Operated
If you are a driver operating a vehicle under 18, you cannot use a cell phone in the car, even if it is on speakerphone or connected to the car.
If you are a driver who cannot connect your phone to the vehicle through a Bluetooth connection, you must have your phone on a mount in the car, using it through the speaker so that it is hands-free. The placement of this mount can’t be where you cannot see the road or have a blind spot.
If a driver is pulled over for distracted driving, a citation starts at $162 for the first offense as of July 1, 2021, with the potential of points being lost from your license. The fines will continue to grow depending on the number of citations you receive, and with enough points removed, you could have your license suspended.
What Are Some Potential Damages in a Distracted Driving Car Accident Claim?
Courts may consider these things damages in a distracted driving case.
- Medical costs and expenses
- Mechanic repair for vehicle damages
- Payoff costs for vehicle damages
- Pain and suffering multiplied by each person in the car
- Property damage
- Continued therapy or rehabilitation
All of these damages can feel overwhelming and are often the responsibility of the party or parties at fault for the accident. If you suffered damages like these, an experienced California car accident attorney can help you.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer for Help Today
If you don’t know how to move forward following an accident with a distracted driver, you need the help of an experienced, compassionate legal team to assist you with the process of securing compensation for your injuries.
Look for a law firm near you with a history of success on behalf of its clients, one that assists them through every level of the claims process, from pretrial negotiation and mediation to litigation before a California court.
A reputable lawyer who specializes in distracted driving will provide you a free case evaluation and will only charge you if your case succeeds in recovering compensation.