Distracted driving is a growing public health problem that affects all Americans who drive on public roads, including those here in California. The latest traffic fatality statistics show that motor vehicle deaths have risen 6% since 2015, and distracted driving is playing a part in the more than 40,000 people killed each year on American roads.
That is why the National Safety Council has declared April Distracted Driver Awareness Month. This is a united effort to recognize and reduce preventable deaths from distracted driving. The personal injury attorneys at Neale & Fhima hope that southern California drivers will do their part, this month and always, to never drive distracted. Keep reading to learn more about this growing public health menace.
Alarming Distracted Driving Statistics
Think about how long it takes you to put an address into the map app on your smart phone. Or, ponder how many seconds it takes to text your friend to say you are running 10 minutes late. In your mind, you may think these actions take just a second. No — you’d be taking your eyes off the road for at least at least five seconds.
How long is five seconds behind the wheel? Think of it this way: If you were driving on the 405 Los Angeles at 55 mph, five seconds is like driving the length of a football field and not looking. It is estimated that texting and driving makes it 23 times more likely you will be in a car accident.
Texting and driving is not the worst of distracted driving, either. One survey shows that one out of five drivers admitted to surfing the Internet while driving! Doing a Google search while driving is extremely dangerous and illegal.
You also do not have to be driving down a southern California freeway to engage in dangerous distracted driving. The NHTSA reports there are approximately 200 deaths and 15,000 injuries every year from back-up injuries in Americans’ driveways. Most of those who are injured or killed are five years old or younger. It is reasonable to conclude that at least some of those injuries and deaths are caused by distracted driving.
It Is Illegal to Text and Drive in California
California state law bans all talking, texting and any other use of handheld cell phones while driving. A first-time conviction will result in a ticket of at least $159, with a second offense costing you $279. But if Senate Bill 1030 passes, which was introduced in February 2018, you would get a one-point DMV violation for each distracted driving conviction, which could cost you a lot when you renew your auto insurance.
You Can Be Sued For Distracted Driving
Another major consequence of distracted driving is injuring someone else while texting and driving or otherwise using a cell phone while driving. Police can check cell phone records to determine whether you were on your phone when the accident occurred. If you are held liable for another person’s injuries, it could cost you thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars.
If you have been hurt by a distracted driver, it would benefit you to speak to a personal injury attorney today.
Hurt by a Distracted Driver? Talk to a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Today
Distracted driving accidents happen more and more in busy Orange County, California. Even though texting and driving is against the law, people are seriously hurt by distracted drivers every day. If you suffered serious injuries when a distracted driver hit your vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. For a complimentary consultation about your distracted driving accident, please contact the personal injury attorneys of Neale & Fhima today.