Distracted driving accidents
About 80% of car accidents are caused by a distracted driver. That is a very high percentage. Thousands of people fall victim to such accidents. Distracted driving accidents cost people lots of money. But aside of money, it costs them their physical and mental health. Sometimes, car accidents lead to death. In fact, 3450 people were killed in California as a result of a distracted driver.
The Meaning of distracted driving accidents
The first rule to driving is to stay focused and avoid distractions. Anything that could divert your attention as a driver is a form of distraction. This includes using your phone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, GPS navigation or any type of entertainment technology in the car.
There are three types of driving distractions: visual, manual and cognitive. Visual distractions refers to any activity that diverts your eyes off the road. Manual distraction refers to activities that take your hands off the wheel. Finally, cognitive distraction is a distraction that diverts your mind off driving. These forms increase your chances of being involved in distracted driving accidents
Most Common forms of distracted driving
1.6 million auto accidents are caused by a distracted driver using his/her phone. Annually, around 3400 people die due to texting while behind the wheel. The NHTSA conducts annual reports on cell phone usage while driving. It found that 50% of drivers text or send emails while driving. Not surprisingly, teenagers are the most prone to accidents due to distractions. Almost 50% of teenagers admit to text and drive at the same time. But texting, calling or emailing while driving are not the only forms of cell phone distractions. Navigation is one of the worst driver distractions. Research found that you are 23 more likely to be in a car crash due to GPS use while driving.
Eating and drinking
More than 70% of drivers eat and drink while driving. This is dangerous because it leads to visual and manual distractions. It takes your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. In fact, driving with passengers, eating and drinking in the car is also dangerous. It can distract you cognitively by taking your mind off the driving; hence increasing the chances of a distracted driving accident.
450,000 car accidents occur as a result of applying makeup while driving. One report found that women aged between 17-21 years old are most likely to apply makeup while driving. 29% of female drivers admitted to apply makeup while behind the wheel. Almost half of those were involved in a car crash.
California legal consequences
California takes distracted driving very seriously. In 2008, California issues the Handheld Wireless Telephone Law. This law makes using any type of wireless device while driving on public roads illegal. If you are 18 years or older, California permits you to use these devices. However, you must use Bluetooth or another device to avoid distraction. Under no circumstances are you allowed to read, respond or write a text message while driving.
Failing to abide by these laws has legal consequences. California has penalties for distracted driving. As a first offense, there is a base fine of $20 which goes to $50 on a second offense. Penalties can exceed $150 even for first offenses. If you have more than one offense within 3 years, you may lose your license.
Legal Help for Distracted Driving Accidents
If you or someone you know was involved in an auto accident, you came to the right place. Napolin Law provides you with legal advice and help to recover your damages. Call us today at 844-984-4878 to get your FREE consultation.