According to The U.S. Department of Transportation
Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America's roadways. In 2010 alone, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.
Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver's hands, eyes or their mind off of the situation at hand. This is a growing epidemic in the United States, particularly in California. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the largest amount of fatal car accidents occurs on California highways. Next to drinking and driving, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of those accidents. Distracted driving can include anything from eating while driving to changing the radio station. Even talking to other passengers in the vehicle can be considered distracted driving. Although many of these practices are not against the law, they may constitute negligence if the actions result in a collision and injuries.
The leading type of distracted driving is cell phone use. Not all states have made regulations against talking on cell phones and texting while driving, but the State of California has. According to the California Vehicle Code (CVC), there is a ban on handheld cell phone use for all drivers and a ban on texting for all drivers. Still, hundreds of people continue to drive through Santa Clarita while they are texting or using their cell phones in some other way. Cell phone use has likely been completely banned in California due in part to the shocking statistics.
Here's what the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has to say:
Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.
Cell phone use is by far the most attended to distraction for driving. The laws on cell phone use in the last few years emphasize the importance of reducing distraction by calls and text messages. However, cell phones are not the only thing that may offer distraction to a driver. Negligent driver can take many forms and a person who is distracted from their duty to exercise care can easily cause serious harm to drivers and pedestrians around them.
While there are no formal laws against specific distractions such as eating or touching up makeup in the car, drivers have a duty of car while driving. Engaging in such activities behind the wheel is considered negligent driving because it reflects a blatant disregard for the safety of people and property surrounding. While the offense is not criminal, negligent driving does call for legal action if someone is injured due to another person's distracted driving. The ten most common, and most dangerous, distractions while driving in the United States include:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that distracted driving kills up to 15 people and injures more than 1,200 people every day on average. Often times, people do not even realize the danger associated with such distractions but event if unintentional, negligence can easily cause serious and even fatal injuries to innocent bystanders.
Not only does distracted driving heighten the risk of a collision, it can also increase the severity of the crash. When drivers are not paying attention to the situation at hand, they are not as readily able to take corrective action to avoid the accident or lessen the severity of the impact by swerving or putting on their brakes. If you were injured by a driver that was not paying attention, then get in touch with a Santa Clarita car accident lawyer at our firm. We have handled many cases of distracted driving related accidents and may be able to assist you as well. Over the past 25 years, we have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Contact a personal injury attorney from Santa Clarita today for a free consultation to find out more about the legal action you might be able to take against the negligent driver that hit you.