Distracted driving is a serious problem on our roadways. Distracted driving includes anything that removes the driver’s eyes from the roadway, hands from the steering wheel or attention from the task at hand. Cell phone use and texting are an especially serious concern. Other distractions include eating while driving, grooming, reading or operating a radio or a navigational device.
Unfortunately, some of the most dangerous behaviors are also the most common. During 2013, 3,154 victims were killed nationally and another estimated 424,000 victims were injured in car accidents involving distracted drivers. Engaging in distracted driving activities, including reaching for a phone and dialing a phone or texting, increases the risk of a car accident by three times. While texting, the driver’s eyes are removed from the roadway for an average of five seconds, which is enough time to travel the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour.
Texting while driving is considered the most serious form of distracted driving because it involves both visual, manual and cognitive distraction. Victims injured by a distracted driver can face serious damages, including physical injuries, which can lead to an inability to work. Because holding a cell phone while driving is illegal in California, distracted drivers engaging in such activity may be considered negligent if they cause a car accident.
Fortunately, legal resources provide options for victims of car accidents to bring a claim for the physical, financial and emotional damages they suffered. Because of the potentially devastating impact of an unexpected car accident, it is important for victims to be familiar with how to hold distracted drivers responsible and seek compensation for their damages.
Source: ots.ca.gov, “Distracted Driving,” Accessed April 1, 2018