Distracted driving has become a rampant problem in recent years and is now the leading cause of car accidents. With the proliferation of technology, drivers are more distracted than ever before, making it imperative to ensure road safety. HHJ Trial Attorneys, a well-established law firm specializing in distracted driving, is committed to helping those affected by these preventable accidents. The car accident attorneys at HHJ Trial Attorneys understand the devastating effects that distracted driving can have on individuals, families, and communities. That is why they work tirelessly to hold these drivers accountable for their actions and protect the legal rights of those who have been wronged.
In California, HHJ Trial Attorneys have made it their mission to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving and advocate for stricter laws and enforcement. They believe that by raising awareness and promoting change, they can help reduce the number of car accidents caused by distracted driving. The firm also provides support and guidance to victims and their families as they navigate the often-complicated legal process.
Distracted Driving Numbers
The consequences of distracted driving are staggering, as highlighted in a report by Bankrate. In 2017, over 400 deaths in the United States were caused by texting while driving alone. Not only does texting impact a driver’s cognitive abilities, but it also slows reaction time, equating to the effects of consuming four beers in an hour. In just five seconds of reading an average text, a driver traveling 55 miles per hour could travel the length of a football field.
Distracted driving encompasses more than just texting, as thousands of additional deaths and tens of thousands of injuries were caused by other forms of distractions in 2017. These devastating statistics repeat year after year, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages annually.
To combat these dangerous trends, many states have enacted laws that prohibit cell phone use while driving. However, it is ultimately up to each driver to take personal responsibility and maintain their focus on the road. Negligent drivers who cause accidents due to distractions can be held legally responsible for compensating the victims they harm.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
While texting while driving has received significant attention, it is just one of the many distractions that drivers encounter when they are operating a vehicle. It is imperative for drivers to be aware of all potential distractions both within and outside their vehicles so that they can prepare themselves to resist the temptation of taking their eyes off the road. This heightened awareness will help drivers to stay focused and reduce the likelihood of an accident caused by distractions.
The following are some of the most frequent distractions that drivers should be mindful of:
- Using a cell phone for calls or text messages
- Adjusting the radio or navigation system
- Eating or drinking
- Applying makeup
- Interacting with passengers
- Being distracted by outside distractions such as billboards or other vehicles
It is important for drivers to recognize these distractions and make adjustments to reduce the risks they pose on the road. By being aware and prepared, drivers can help to create a safer driving environment for everyone on the road.
Smartphone distractions can prove dangerous for drivers on the road. Texting, phone calls, emails, apps, notifications, and many other features can easily take a driver’s focus away from the road. To reduce these distractions, drivers should consider putting their phone out of reach and exploring phone settings like the “do not disturb while driving” option, which can automatically respond to incoming messages and calls. Additionally, there are apps and other settings that can limit the functionality of the phone while driving, allowing drivers to stay focused on the road. It’s important to remember that drivers have a legal obligation to not be distracted while driving, so taking these steps to limit electronic distractions is crucial for maintaining road safety.
Passenger distractions are often overlooked, but can be just as dangerous as other distractions. Conversations with passengers, even if seemingly harmless, can take a driver’s focus away from the road. However, loud music, phone conversations, laughing, or other distracting behaviors from passengers can also be an issue.
As a driver, it is important to take responsibility for reducing passenger distractions. If an accident occurs due to a passenger’s behavior, the driver is held accountable. It is crucial to set boundaries and let passengers know if their behavior is impacting your ability to drive safely. Consider turning down the music or pausing conversations, and make sure your passengers understand your need to stay focused on the road. This is especially important for teen drivers, who are more susceptible to accidents with passengers in the car. Parents should closely monitor their teen’s driving habits to promote safe and distraction-free driving.
One of the most hazardous distractions while driving is observing a crash scene on the road. This behavior, commonly known as “rubbernecking,” can lead to secondary accidents as drivers take their focus off the road ahead. It is a legal responsibility for drivers to remain alert and aware of their surroundings at all times, but especially at crash scenes where numerous hazards may present themselves.
Such hazards can include cars blocked in the middle of the road, debris in the driver’s lane, or victims fleeing from a crash site. Drivers must be vigilant and prepared to respond to these potential dangers to avoid contributing to further accidents. They must keep their focus on the road and prioritize safety for themselves and others on the road.
Drivers have been engaging in multitasking behind the wheel since cars were invented. But this practice is highly dangerous. Consider how often you witness drivers not paying attention to the road while eating, drinking, putting on makeup, shaving, or even brushing their teeth during their commute.
None of these activities are essential while driving. Drivers who are distracted can be held liable for any injuries and damages they cause. While some distractions, like caring for a child or pet in the car, may seem necessary, they should not take away your focus from driving.
Teen Drivers at Higher Risk of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving poses a greater threat to inexperienced drivers than to more seasoned ones. Though distraction is dangerous for all drivers, experienced drivers are typically better equipped to deal with changing traffic conditions. Despite the fact that 94% of teenagers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, 35% still engage in this behavior.
Statistics from DriversEd.com indicate that 58% of accidents caused by teen drivers involve texting and driving. However, texting was not the main cause of distraction in these cases, with passenger interaction being the leading contributor to accidents.
Research has demonstrated that the presence of other teenage passengers increases the risk of an accident for teen drivers, which is why several states have laws prohibiting new teen drivers from having other teens in the car.
Texting while driving is not even the most dangerous distraction for teens. Parents should establish driving rules that address all potential causes of teen driver accidents. Consider limiting the number or age of passengers that your teen can have in the vehicle.
Emphasize to your teen driver that texting while driving is never allowed. Encourage the use of “do not disturb while driving” features that minimize the temptation to check their phone while driving. Ensure seatbelts are always worn when the vehicle is in motion. Create a consistent dialogue about the family’s driving rules and the importance of road safety.
What You Should Do If Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident
Distracted driving poses a significant risk for teen drivers, and it is crucial for parents to take the necessary steps to reduce this risk. The statistics show that passenger interaction, not just texting and driving, is a leading cause of accidents among teen drivers. By limiting the number or age of passengers, encouraging the use of “do not disturb while driving” features, and consistently reinforcing the importance of road safety, parents can help ensure their teen drivers stay safe on the road. The dangers of distracted driving cannot be overstated, and it is essential to educate our young drivers and create a culture of responsible driving.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a distracted driving accident, it is recommended to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to ensure your rights are protected and to assist you in pursuing fair compensation for any damages incurred.