Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers in Riverside CA
Distracted driving is defined as “any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. Any distractions while driving endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.” The risk of distracted driving accidents continues to be a significant problem on a state and federal level as the number of drivers who choose to drive while distracted continues to increase.
Distracted Driving by the Numbers
Distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. According to Distraction.Gov, almost 3,200 people lost their lives and 431,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents during 2014. On a daily basis, 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones or other electronic devices while driving.
According to data from the California Highway Patrol, between 2009 and 2013, the total number of drivers who were fatally injured in collision caused by inattention totaled 465 and drivers who were injured during that time totaled 53,425. It is clear just from these statistics that distracted driving is not decreasing at a quick enough rate even though local, state, federal, and non-profit agencies are working together to bring awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
Some disturbing statistics from the 2015 Distracted Driving Awareness Month key facts and statistics sheet by the California Traffic Safety Survey include:
- The California Department of Motor Vehicles reported over 426,000 convictions for using handheld cell phones and/or texting while driving during 2013.
- During 2014, sixty-one percent of drivers said they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver who was texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.
- Almost forty percent of drivers believe texting or talking on a cell phone while driving is the biggest safety threat on California roads.
- Over one-half of drivers said texting while driving is the most serious distraction for drivers.
- During 2014, fifty-three percent of drivers admitted they made a driving mistake while talking on a cell phone while driving.
What are people doing while they are driving that can wait until they have safely arrived at their destinations?
Examples of Distracted Driving
Because texting while driving requires the driver to divert his or her cognitive, visual, and manual abilities from driving to texting, texting while driving is one of the worst types of distracted driving. Texting while driving results in a substantial number of the distracted driving accidents each year.
Other examples of distractions while driving that can cause a car accident:
- Using any electronic device, either hands-free or hand-held (i.e. cell phone, mini-DVD player, GPS, etc.)
- Adjusting the seat, radio, or other controls in the vehicle
- Interacting with other passengers or taking care of an infant or child
- Eating, drinking, and smoking
- Grooming of any type
- Reading maps, magazines, and other literature
- Watching a video
- Putting on or changing clothing
It is both surprising and disconcerting what some drivers do behind the wheel of a vehicle. More must be done to make people understand they are not only taking their lives in their hands when they drive while distracted — they are endangering all others on or around the road including pedestrians and others.
What is Being Done Now About Distracted Drivers in California and Throughout The United States?
According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in 2012, “Distracted driving is a persistent and growing epidemic on America’s roads.” Distraction.Gov provides resources and information for states to help fight distracted driving.
In California, the “It’s Not Worth It!” campaign works to decrease the number of distracted drivers who are texting while driving and Start Smart is a CHP program aimed at helping newly licensed or soon-to-be licensed teenage drivers become more aware of the responsibilities of driving a vehicle.
Unfortunately, even though government and private entities work hard to increase awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, drivers do not seem to take the problems seriously. Some companies and private entities with campaigns against distracted driving are:
- People Against Distracted Driving
- U.S. Department of Transportation’s “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” Campaign
If you know of other campaigns that could help deter distracted driving, we urge you to share with us and our readers in our comments section below. We can all help stop distracted driving and save lives.
Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents Are Entitled To Receive Compensation for Damages
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, you have the same rights to receive compensation as you do in any other type of accident caused by another driver. Once your attorney proves that the distracted driver caused the accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses including medical care and personal care
- Lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and loss of benefits and other compensation
- Funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses
- Property damage
- Scarring, disfigurement, and permanent disability
- Physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress
- Loss of love, care, support, companionship, and guidance
- Other compensable out-of-pocket expenses
Do You Need A Riverside, CA Distracted Driving Accident Attorney?
Unfortunately, distracted driving accidents continue to happen each day throughout California and the United States. People are injured and killed because someone chose to text, eat their drive-thru lunch, or read a map while driving.
If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident in Riverside, CA or anywhere in California, contact the personal injury attorneys of Heiting & Irwin at 951-682-6400 for a free consultation. You may also contact our office online for your convenience.