Watch out! I’m Distracted and I Can’t Pay Attention to My Driving!
California is known for its proactive laws requiring use of hands-free devices when talking on cell phones. Unfortunately, a recent study shows that not only are Californians ignoring that law, they are engaging in a plethora of other activities that distract them while they drive, causing numerous motor vehicle accidents each year.
Distractions range from the mundane, such as a teenager playing his radio so loudly there is no way he can hear an ambulance coming up behind him, to the absurd, such as the true story of a woman driving with one leg hanging out her car window while she shaves it. Tests report that reaction times double when a driver is talking on a cell phone and reactions are 11 times slower when he or she is text messaging. For as much as cell phone use is blamed, it is not the only distraction plaguing our car-addicted country.
- Eating, drinking or smoking
- Talking on a cell phone (with or without a hands-free device)
- Reaching into the passenger or back seat
- Writing or reading
- Grooming (curling hair, applying make-up, shaving)
- Arguing with passengers
- Dealing with rowdy children
The worst part about distractions is the consequences they cause. Aside from the common car-hits-car accidents, distracted drivers collide with all types of objects.
Property damage is frequently caused by inattentive drivers and hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year because of distracted driving. Not only are distracted drivers a danger to themselves, they are responsible for injuring and killing people walking, running, biking and driving or riding in other vehicles. In California alone, there are nearly 1,000 pedestrian deaths, and about 5,000 pedestrian injuries requiring hospitalization, per year.
Unfortunately, such injuries require litigation in order to provide compensation for losses incurred as a result of these distractions. Seeking the help of a lawyer knowledgeable in personal injury is helpful if you, or someone you know, has been:
- Injured in an automobile accident
- Hit by a car while walking, running or biking
- Sustained a property or personal injury