Distracted Driving in California
Distracted driving is any action that pulls your focus from your driving. The most notorious of these distractions is the use of cell phones while operating a vehicle but many everyday distractions can take place while you are driving. Some of them are so commonplace that you may not even realize that you are engaging in distracted driving that could lead to a car accident.
Non-cell phone related activities such as changing the radio station, looking for something you dropped, putting on makeup, searching for a street sign, eating, and trying to handle unruly kids all fall under the dubious distinction of distracted driving.
To safely operate a motor vehicle, you must give it your full attention. The United States Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 3,450 accident related deaths were caused by distracted driving. If you are involved in a car accident, it is crucial that you contact an auto accident attorney to help manage your case.
Types of Driving Distractions
The three main types of driving distractions in California are visual (anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road), manual (anything that takes your hands off the wheel), and cognitive (anything that takes your mind off of driving). The reason that cell phone use is so hazardous as a distraction is because it combines all three of these elements in one action. This dramatically increases the chances of having a car accident in Los Angeles and the rest of California.
Who’s Most Likely to Drive Distracted?
Drivers under the age of 20 are the most prevalent age group involved in accidents due to distracted driving. According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control in 2015, 42% of driving aged high school students admitted to using their cell phones to send an email or a text while they were driving.
Students who said that they often texted while driving were also found to be less likely to wear their seatbelts, more likely to ride with a driver they know has been drinking, and more likely to drink and drive as well. As a younger and inexperienced demographic, students do not always understand what is proper procedure after a collision and should confer with their parents about hiring an accident attorney to ensure their legal rights are protected.
Ways to Avoid Distracted Driving
- Turn off your cell phone and keep it somewhere out of reach. This will prevent you from giving in to the temptation of answering a call or sending a text while you are behind the wheel.
- Avoid driving while tired. Drowsy driving does not differ all that much from drunk driving as far as your cognitive abilities and response times are concerned. If you find yourself getting sleepy while you are driving, find a safe place to pull over and take a nap.
- Do not multi-task while you are driving. Engaging in any task that takes your attention away from the road in front of you is extremely dangerous. Select your music before you begin driving. Apply your makeup before you leave the house or after you arrive at your destination. If you drop something, wait until you have safely parked the car somewhere before you try to locate it.
- Pull over to deal with sudden problems that may arise. If you are traveling with pets or children, sometimes a situation beyond your control arises. Do not attempt to deal with this problem while driving down the road. This places everyone in and around your vehicle in danger. Instead, find a safe place to pull over and handle the issue well away from the moving traffic.
California Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love was injured in a California car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you need to seek the counsel of a licensed, practicing accident attorney as soon as possible. Here at the Los Angeles Injury Group, we can help you fight for the compensation for the lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering that you are entitled to under the law. Give us a call for a free consultation with an attorney at (310) 954-7248.