Hazards of Texting While Driving
Distracted driving has become the leading cause of car accidents, causing injury to over 1,000 people every day. Smartphone use is among the most common source of driver distraction. Our phones keep us connected in a way that has never been possible before, but they also lead to significant distractions when on the road. Call us at 888-964-1530 or visit http://mikepaynelaw.com/ to schedule your free consultation if you have been hit by someone who was texting while driving.
Driving requires motorists to pay careful attention to the road ahead and the many things going on around them outside of their vehicles. However, there are often distractions inside the vehicle that can pull a driver’s attention away from the road and the surrounding landscape. Distracted driving comes in three forms – visual, cognitive, and manual.
Anything that causes you to look away from the road could be a visual distraction. Looking down to pick something up off the floorboard, glancing at the GPS, or checking on your dog in the backseat are all examples of visual distractions.
Driving requires mental focus in order to respond and react safely. Cognitive distraction occurs when your mind is elsewhere, and you cannot properly focus on driving tasks. Getting absorbed in an audiobook or arguing with someone in the passenger seat could lead to cognitive distraction.
Removing your hands from the steering wheel is a form of manual distraction. Eating breakfast or changing the radio station are common ways drivers are manually distracted from the important task of steering their vehicle.
Cell phone use, and specifically texting, combines all three types of distraction. It requires you to look away from the road, think about the text, and use your hands to send the message. It is easy to become distracted because there are so many things to pay attention to, but limiting unnecessary distractions is crucial for safe driving.
Cell Phone Use While Driving
In 2018, approximately 400,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that driver distraction was present in 80% of car crashes, and using electronic devices was a major contributing factor to these collisions. Smartphone use while driving is highest in the 16- to 24-year-old demographic, but every age group has some level of distraction due to cell phones.
In addition to being hazardous and potentially leading to injury or death, smartphone use while driving is also against the law. Every state in the country bans some form of cell phone use while operating a vehicle, with some states implementing laws that include both talking and texting.
In California, you cannot talk or text on a cell phone while driving. There are some exceptions, but they are limited. For instance, talking is allowed in emergency situations, like calling for the police.
The base fines for violating these provisions of the California Vehicle Code are often as follows:
- A first violation fine of $20
- Subsequent violation fines of $50
If distracted driving leads to an accident in which another driver, passenger, or pedestrian is injured, a personal injury lawsuit may also be an option for the injured parties.
Personal Injury and Distracted Driving
When people are injured due to a driver’s negligence in paying attention to the road, there may be legal recourse for those who were injured. A personal injury attorney will be a helpful resource during this time, as they understand the complexities of California laws involving accidents and injuries. The Law Offices of Michael D. Payne can help you navigate your injury claim or car accident case so you can focus on physical and emotional recovery.
A car crash often leads to expenses that can easily climb to tens of thousands of dollars, from medical expenses to lost work and property damage. When distracted driving is involved, the driver who is at fault for the accident may be liable for the injuries and damage the collision caused. That is because California uses a fault-based system that places the responsibility for damages on the at-fault driver.
Whether you decide to accept a settlement from the insurance company or file a lawsuit and take your case to court, having a trusted personal injury attorney at your side is beneficial. Michael D. Payne was formerly a lawyer for an insurance company, so he is familiar with how insurers try to negotiate and defend accident cases. The insurance company is not on your side, despite their efforts to convince you otherwise. You need an attorney fighting for you if you want the best chance at recovering fair compensation.
Distracted driving causes thousands of accidents in California, leading to many injuries that impact a victim’s everyday life. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver in Los Angeles or any of the surrounding areas, the Law Offices of Michael D. Payne are here to support you through this difficult time. We do not charge you any legal fees unless we win your case, so call us at 888-964-1530 or visit http://mikepaynelaw.com/ to schedule your free consultation.