Distracted driving is a major factor leading to auto accidents and serious injury in the United States. There are various types of conduct that constitute distracted driving. Basically, anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road is considered a distraction that can result in a collision. This includes visual, manual and cognitive distractions, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, using a GPS system, adjusting the radio, eating or even talking to other passengers.
Distracted driving has become a major public safety concern both nationally and in the state of California. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released figures that show that 16% of fatalities in car crashes in the United States and 21% of all crashes leading to serious injury can be attributed to distracted driving. The law has attempted to address the growing threat of distracted driving collisions through legislation that prohibits the most common distractions while driving.
California law bans all drivers from using cell phones to text while driving. Adult drivers (over 18 years of age) are allowed to use a hands-free device to talk or text while operating a car. Drivers who are under 18 years old are not permitted to talk or text at all, even on a hands-free device. While this is a good first step, the penalties for distracted driving are not severe and may be inadequate to truly deter drivers.
This is especially true in light of the fact that the group most susceptible to distracted driving is young adults and teens. Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest number of crashes attributed to distraction related errors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found that that 42% of high school students reported sending a text or email while driving in 2015.
When distracted driving causes injuries or death, this could lead to cause of action for negligence. If a driver is found to be distracted, he is more likely to be deemed responsible for the ensuing injuries. If someone is in accident while using a phone, the injured party may be able to submit evidence of the driver’s negligence or recklessness. Each case is fact dependent, but certainly evidence of the use of a cell phone by either the driver causing the injury or the injured party immediately preceding the collision will be highly relevant in allocating liability.
If you or a member of your family was injured in an auto accident, contact Alexander Law Group, LLC. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will be sure you get the maximum compensation possible. Call 888.777.1776, or contact us online.