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The Repercussions of Distracted Driving

Technology developments are causing major problems for motorists everywhere, which is typically not the intended purpose when a new system or software is rolled out. In just the few instants it takes to look over a text message, vehicle-installed touch screen devices or even using a GPS, motorists enter the so-called distracted driving zone. Unfortunately, distracted driving is common and with it, vehicle crash rates have dramatically increased. Personal injury and even death is on the rise due to these technology-based advances when combined with operating a motor vehicle. Distracted driving is not, however, limited to technology. It can also refer to any activity that takes your attention and responsiveness away from operating your vehicle in a safe manner.

Operating a Vehicle Requires Three Components to Stay Safe

There are endless everyday activities that can lead to a distraction while driving. While some actions can divert the attention of driving for a few moments, many only require one second to cause a serious injuries or fatal disaster. There are three key components that determine a person’s ability to fully focus on driving. These are:

Mental – The ability to comprehend what is and is not on the road. Being prepared rapidly respond to situations that arise from daily driving such as stopping at a red light.

Visual – Being able to see the road ahead and to actively look to avoid potential hazards.

Bodily – Physically being able to maneuver and operate a vehicle.

 Daily Distractions – One of the greatest distractions is the use of a cell phone while driving. Using a cellphone to make phone calls or to send messages are among the worst distractions since it typically requires the use of all three key components that determine a person’s responsiveness. Utilizing a cellphone is a hazardous and irresponsible action that not only places the driver and their passengers in danger, it also puts in jeopardy the lives of countless other motorists and/or pedestrians in or around their path.

Other forms of distracted driving can include, but are not limited, to the following actions:

  1. Any form of grooming while driving;
  2. Reading text messages, newspapers, or even billboards and street addresses;
  3. Streaming videos while driving;
  4. Scrolling through a music playlist and or
  5. Eating and drinking

While there are many day-to-day activities that can take part of distracted driving, it is important to consider that depending on the speed at which you are driving, it can take just a few seconds to travel long distances. To further explain, according to the government website, it takes an average of five seconds to read a text message. A vehicle traveling at the speed of 55mph, the distance covered in those five seconds is about 300ft. The size of an average football field. Being distracted for a mere five seconds can cause tremendous damage to other individuals with whom you share the road with. As a distracted driver, you become the hazard. It is a negligent action that can have severe consequences.

Although distracted driving has been the reason behind many auto accidents, distracted driving is an avoidable offense. The problem is when a distracted driver causes an accident or injury due to their negligence, it can often be others who fall victim. In situations like this, the victims may have a case or claim against the distracted driver for damages.

Consider Your Rights as a Victim of a Distracted and Negligent Driver

If you or someone you love was injured due to the negligence of a distracted driver, there may be an opportunity to recover the damages you are owed. California law allows for compensation and damages to victims who suffered injury from another’s negligence. A qualified and experienced personal injury attorney can help champion for your rights. While accidents related to distracted driving can be major and sever, you can have an attorney fight to protect your rights and hold the negligent party accountable. Heiting & Irwin APLC are an experienced and dedicated team of personal injury attorneys who represent victims of auto and car accidents when serious injuries are suffered. You can contact their office to speak with a local personal injury and accident attorney.

Mr. Irwin is a recognized specialist in Workers’ Compensation law. He has been certified as a specialist by the State Bar of California since 1995. He limits his practice to handling only workers’ compensation cases. View Attorney Richard Irwin's Attorney Bio Here.

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