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Distracted driving continues to endanger motorists in CA

Although California has laws banning drivers from using certain cellular devices, people continue to engage in these distractive behaviors.

California motorists know that traffic on state roadways can reach astronomical levels at times. The increased traffic conditions require drivers to keep a cautious eye on the road in order to avoid becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, some motorists in the state continue to drive while engaged in distractive tasks, such as texting or talking on cellphones, eating, drinking or programming navigational devices. Although many people feel as though they can safely multi-task while they are operating a vehicle, research shows that the risks of doing this are great.

The Facts

According to Distraction.gov, distracted driving car accidents were responsible for killing 3,154 Americans and injuring an additional 424,000 people in 2013. A number of these devastating accidents were caused by motorists who were texting or talking on a mobile device while driving. In an attempt to decrease the number of people killed and injured by distracted drivers, many states have enacted laws regarding the use of cellular devices while driving.

California has some of the strictest cellphone laws in the country. Not only is it illegal to text and drive, but motorists are also restricted from talking on hand-held cellphones. Bus drivers and beginning drivers are banned from using both hand-held and hands free cellphones.

The Dangers of Distraction

Despite state laws banning cellphone use while driving, a surprising number of motorists continue to use their cellphones while behind the wheel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three types of dangerous distractions. Visual distractions occur when drivers take their eyes off of the road to engage in other tasks, such as texting or changing the radio station. Manual distractions, on the other hand, can happen when motorists take their hands off of the steering wheel. When a driver is unable to focus on the road because his or her mind is wrapped up in a conversation, it is referred to as cognitive distraction.

Wandering Minds

Since talking on a hand-held cellphone is restricted in California, motorists may turn to hands free devices in order to comply with the law. Studies evaluated by the National Safety Council showed that even when people have their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road, they cannot fully process vital information in their driving field when engaged in conversation. In one tragic situation, a car ran a red light and smashed into a vehicle that was traveling in the opposite direction. According to the NSC, the woman who caused the accident was legally talking on a hands free cellphone when she ran the light.

Getting the Help You Need

As a victim of a distracted driving car accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for any injuries that have occurred as a result of the collision. You may suffer from debilitating injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, broken bones, spinal cord damage and even paralysis because of another driver’s negligence. A personal injury lawyer in California may be able to help you explore your legal options when it comes to getting compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages from work and emotional trauma.