Top 5 causes of distracted driving
In California, 18% of fatal car accidents are caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving accidents continue to remain on the rise, despite laws that prohibit the use of handheld devices while driving. However, cell phone use is not the only type of distracted driving that can result in a serious or fatal accident. Here, we’ll go over the main causes of distracted driving and what you should do if you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident that was caused by a distracted driver.
Common Distracted Driving Habits and What You Can Do to Avoid Them
There are many causes of distracted driving in California, and while it may not always be possible to prevent an accident that is caused by an inattentive driver, there are ways you can identify one, so you can report their behavior and drive at a safe difference.
But first, below, you’ll find some of the most common causes of distracted driving in California:
1. Texting/Cell Phone Use
Driver cell phone use is not the biggest problem on California roads, but smartphone use is commonly linked to accidents that were caused by inattentive drivers. Teens and young adults are more likely than older motorists to be involved in a motor vehicle crash that was caused by cell phone use. Approximately 50% of drivers involved in phone-related collisions were under the age of twenty.
Texting, looking up directions, checking social media, or talking on the phone are all common causes of distracted driving accidents in CA.
There's been plenty of talk in the news regarding the dangers of texting. Teen texting in particular has been a major problem.
In the state of California, the ban on texting while driving is designed to make the roads safer for everyone. In fact, the hands-free law prohibits hand-held cell phone use but does allow a driver to make phone calls and talk on the phone if the phone is on speakerphone.
2. Speaking to Passengers
Chatty passengers can result in road accident fatalities. Speaking with a passenger in the vehicle is a major safety risk and one that can result in a serious accident.
3. Adjusting Vehicle Controls or Music
A driver often takes their eyes off the road when they’re changing a song on the radio, using their smartphone to select a song on their favorite music platform, or adjusting the AC or heater or other vehicle controls.
Applying makeup, smoking, drinking, or eating can result in the driver taking their eyes or focus off the road and also causes the driver to take one of their hands off the wheel.
5. Using a Map or Navigational Device
Checking a map or entering information into a GPS when driving can also result in the driver taking their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road. Even using a traditional paper map can be potentially dangerous.
What to Do if You’re Sharing the Road with a Distracted Driver
If you’re on the road with a negligent driver, you may be in a very dangerous situation, one that can lead to an auto accident.
When you’re driving, you must remain vigilant and look for signs that you’re sharing the road with an unfocused driver. While it may not be possible to always identify a distracted driver or avoid an accident, in some cases, it is, and it can save your life.
Signs of a distracted driver include:
The Driver is Failing to Maintain a Consistent Speed
When you’re on the road, if you see a motorist that’s speeding up and slowing down erratically, they’re probably too distracted to maintain a steady speed.
Interacting with A Passenger
If you see a driver that’s interacting with another person in their vehicle, it’s probably taking a lot of their focus off the road. If they are showing other signs of distracted driving, such as slamming on their brakes or failing to follow traffic laws, they can potentially cause a serious accident.
Bent-Over Posture or Looking Down
Another sign that a driver is distracted is seeing them in a bent-over position or they’re looking down. This can indicate they’re paying more attention to their phone, iPad, or another electronic device.
Hitting Their Brakes Frequently and Suddenly
If a driver keeps hitting their brakes suddenly, their full attention is not on the road. A driver who is paying attention will brake normally. Someone who isn’t paying close attention to the road will have to slam on their brakes since they missed traffic slowing down or stopping.
If you’re on the road and you see any of these signs, make sure you drive as far away from them as possible or pull over in a safe place, to avoid a potential crash. You should also notify the proper authorities to prevent the distracted driver from injuring someone.
Contact a California Auto Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in an auto accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the personal injury lawyers at MVP Accident Attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. You can meet one-on-one with an attorney to discuss your case and learn about your legal rights and options. If you decide to work with our legal team, we can thoroughly investigate your accident to build the strongest case possible. Contact us today to learn how our experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.
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