Texting and driving is illegal in California. Currently, drivers who text while behind the wheel are subject to a fine. Starting July 1st, 2021, a second distracted driving violation will result in a point on a driver’s license.
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in the Bay Area. Texting is widely considered to be the most prevalent and form of distracted driving.
If you are considering using your phone while behind the wheel, it is time to think twice. Handheld cell phone use is one of the biggest safety hazards on American highways. Here is what we know:
- Cell phone use is linked to nearly 1.6 million motor vehicle accidents every year;
- Approximately 375,000 people are injured in texting and driving accidents annually; and
- Nearly one in five teenage drivers killed in car accidents were using their cell phone.
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that by texting a driver is 23 times more likely to end up in a crash. To put that number into perspective, texting while driving may be even more dangerous than drunk driving. Protect yourself and other people by putting the phone away.
Far too many drivers believe that they can simply take a brief glance at their cell phone without it being a major issue. Taking your focus off of the road a second can put you and other people at risk. At 30 miles per hour, a car travels more than 44 feet every second. At 70 miles per hour 100 feet a second.
A study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that texting and driving is a unique form of distraction. Based on observations of people in road simulators, the researchers found that the human brain has something akin to a “sixth sense” that helps people drive effectively even when they are mildly distracted. However, texting and driving essentially turns off this “sixth sense.” A driver’s general situational awareness is reduced dramatically, making texting while driving far more dangerous than other distractions.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians 38% of teenagers admit to texting and driving. Of course, the true incidence of teenage texting is probably higher due to a reluctance to honestly respond to a survey.
The most alarming finding by the AAFP is that many teen drivers are repeat offenders. Few people text and drive only once. What starts out as reading a few text messages easily becomes a habit. If your young driver is texting while behind the wheel, it is time to take away their keys before they kill or maim someone or kill themselves.
Contact Our San Jose, CA Motor Vehicle Accidents Lawyers for Immediate Help
Alexander Law Group, LLP attorneys are available to answer questions and share our knowledge of the law and the results of our research and experience. Our goal as personal injury lawyers is to make a difference for our clients. Every day we deal with a range of health and safety issues that most people do not encounter until after an injury occurs. As safety lawyers we are committed to providing our clients and the public with information for safer and healthier living. Call 888-777-1776 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you.