Distracted Driving in California Really IS That Bad
Is it really that dangerous to use a cell phone or text behind the wheel? Most definitely! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents. The practice is estimated to be a factor in almost 80 percent of motor vehicle mishaps, meaning that 8 out of 10 road incidents are caused by someone not paying close attention to what they’re doing behind the wheel.
Sources of Distracted Driving
As we all know, texting or talking on the phone while driving is one of the most frequent causes of distracted driving. The State of California has passed laws against texting and handheld cell phone use behind the wheel, but there are other forms of distracted driving:
- Looking at advertising or scenery
- Talking to passengers
- Eating or drinking behind the wheel
- Applying makeup
- Paying more attention to the GPS than to the road
- Adjusting the vehicle’s sound system
Prevalence of Distracted Driving in California and the US
According to statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety, distracted driving is shockingly common:
- In 2016, 54% of California drivers said that they have been in an accident or have almost been struck by a distracted driver.
- In 2016, nearly 40% of drivers in California admitted that they have made a dangerous error while on their mobile phone.
- Across the nation, almost 3,200 people were killed and 424,000 were injured in automobile crashes caused by a distracted driver.
- Engaging in a distracted driving practice such as texting, using a hand-held mobile phone, applying makeup, and other distractions increase your chances of being in an accident threefold.
- The average time that a driver’s eyes are off the road while distracted is five seconds. Based on this statistic, when traveling at 55 mph you will cover the length of an entire football field without paying attention to what is in front of you.
How to Stay Focused While Driving
If we are honest with ourselves, most of us have driven while distracted at one point or another. According to information provided by a major insurance company, there are some simple things a driver can do to help keep their focus on the road:
- Use a cell phone in cases of emergency only.
- If a driver is feeling sleepy, he or she should pull off into a rest area or parking lot as soon as possible. Drowsy driving can be just as risky as drunk driving.
- Try to minimize the number of passengers in the car and keep the noise at low levels.
- Don’t eat or drink while behind the wheel.
- Don’t multitask behind the wheel. This includes putting on makeup, adjusting the sound system, reading the GPS, etc.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that drivers who aren’t paying attention to the road are a leading cause of most automobile accidents across the country.
California Distracted Driving Laws
In the State of California, it is illegal for drivers to use a handheld device or text while driving. If a motorist using a cell phone causes an accident in which you are injured, the driver may be held responsible for causing the accident based on his or her cell phone use. Cell phone use can be considered careless behavior, and if that carelessness causes the driver to run a red light, make an improper turn, or fail to yield, a serious car accident can result.
California Car Accident Attorney
At Los Angeles Injury Group, our experienced attorneys have helped clients win cases against those who have suffered injuries in automobile accidents caused by distracted drivers. We understand how life-altering these injuries can be, which is why we fight for our clients until they receive proper compensation. If you, or someone you love, received injuries as a result of a vehicle accident, call (424) 625-7824.