How a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Can Help
Serious distracted driving accidents are on the rise. According to a report issued by Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), drivers were 30% more distracted in February 2022 than in February 2020, making it one of the worst months for distracted driving in the U.S. Distracted driving is a serious problem for all motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians – essentially, anyone on the road. Even a few seconds of inattention can lead to a crash resulting in serious injuries and even death. In order to prevent serious accidents, it’s important to know what are common driver distractions and how to avoid them. Finally, learn how a distracted driving accident lawyer can help you if you were in an accident.
What Causes Most Distracted Driving Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most common cause of distracted driving accidents is texting and driving. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
There are three types of driving distractions: visual, manual and cognitive. Other common distracted driver behaviors include:
- Talking on the phone (hands-free or handheld)
- Using a navigation system
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting the radio or climate controls
- Looking at other passengers or objects in the car
- Rubbernecking (staring at an accident or other roadside event)
- Applying makeup or grooming
- Daydreaming or thinking about something else
What Is California’s Distracted Driving Law?
California has some of the strictest distracted driving laws in the country. The law prohibits drivers from using a cell phone or other electronic device while holding it. Drivers can use a hands-free device, such as a speakerphone or voice commands, but never while holding it in their hand. The device must be mounted on your dashboard or center console. The law applies to stop signs and stop lights, too. All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone for any reason.
There are a few exceptions to the law. Drivers are allowed to use a handheld device:
- In an emergency.
- To report a traffic accident.
- To call 911.
- To use a navigation system if the device is mounted in a certain way.
The penalties for violating California’s distracted driving law can be severe. Penalties for mobile phone use while driving are considered an infraction punishable with a $20 base fine for a first offense, and $50 basic fine for each subsequent offense. You will also be required to pay a variety of state-mandated assessments and fees, depending on the city and county where you receive the ticket.
In addition to the fines, distracted drivers who are caught violating the distracted driving law may receive points on their driver’s license.
How to Prevent a Distracted Driving Car Accident
Any activity that takes your attention away from the road can be a distraction and increase your risk of a crash. It’s important to be aware of all the potential distractions and to avoid them whenever possible.
Here are 10 tips to avoid a distracted driving car accident:
- Keep your phone out of reach. Place your phone in the glove box, back seat or trunk. If you must use your phone, pull over to a safe location and park.
- Set your phone on Do Not Disturb mode. This will block any incoming calls, texts or notifications.
- Adjust all vehicle settings before starting to drive. This includes your GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems.
- Pay attention to the road. Don’t let yourself get distracted by other passengers, objects in the car, or roadside events.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on the other cars on the road and be prepared to react to unexpected events.
- Take breaks. If you’re feeling tired or distracted, pull over to a safe location and take a break.
- Keep calm. Do not respond to another driver’s aggressive behavior. Stay calm and keep your distance.
- Limit the number of passengers. Teen drivers are generally not allowed to have teen passengers in their car.
- Keep pets in their carriers. Having pets loose in the car can be dangerous. Make sure they are safe and secure.
- Encourage family and friends to drive distraction free. As a passenger, offer to navigate for the driver.
Why Should I Hire a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Following an Accident?
Considering the frequency of texting and talking behind the wheel, distracted driving accidents are all too common. If you believe your auto accident and injuries were caused by a distracted driver, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation. With the help of personal injury lawyers, you can recover losses including medical and hospital bills, lost wages from work, pain and suffering, and more. Filing a car accident claim on your own is possible, but having a lawyer can increase your settlement amount and increase your chances of winning.
Our distracted driving accident attorney in Santa Ana has years of experience representing clients injured in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and Uber/Lyft accidents. With our aggressive and thorough investigation, we will determine how the negligent driver caused your accident , negotiate with the insurance company, and calculate the damages you are owed. Speak to an attorney in a no-risk, free consultation and get your personal injury claim started. Call us at (657) 662-8033 or contact us online.