National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Reports That in 2014, Alone, over 3,000 People Have Died as a Result of Motor Vehicle Crashes Involving a Distracted Driver.
In the same year 431,000 people were injured for the same reason. This number represents 18% of all people injured in car crashes in 2014. Moreover, not only drivers and their passengers suffer the gruesome results of distracted driving. 16% of all distracted driving deaths are not occupants of the vehicle. They are the innocent bystanders, pedestrians and bicyclists. (Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving – https://www.distraction.gov/). These numbers are staggering and show how dire our situation is.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the way and a fight to end distracted driving through the passing of laws, strong enforcement of those laws and increased public awareness.
To address this continually growing problem most States in the Union have adopted laws which prohibit anyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, barring a few exceptions, from operating a cellular device. 46 states have passed a ban prohibiting texting for all drivers. 14 states went further and passed laws prohibiting hand-held cell phone use for all drivers.
In the State of California if you are driving a car you are prohibited from using a cell phone. However, if you are over the age of 18 you are allowed to use a hands-free option, i.e., speakerphone, earphones, or a Bluetooth device (either built into your vehicle or purchased separately).
For drivers who are younger than 18 years of age, they are prohibited altogether from using an electronic device altogether. It makes sense, if you think about it, the licenses provided to anyone under the age of 18 are provisional. Other special rules apply to drivers who are under 18, i.e., curfew, inability to transport passengers, etc.
THE LEGISLATURE IN CALIFORNIA EVEN PASSED A SEPARATE BAN ON TEXTING AND DRIVING.
If you are caught driving and texting or even just using your electronic devise you will be issued a citation and a fine. This fine will increase every additional time you are caught using your electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.
However, despite the best effort of powers that be, the numbers of those who are injured and die due to distracted driving continue to steadily grow. Between 2010 and 2014 the number of deaths of those who passed due to distracted driving rose from 6% in 2010 to 7% in 2012, then rose again in 2013 and 2014 to 8%. Furthermore, the most recent article entitled “Distracted Driving is Killing Us” by the Editorial Board of Newsday (https://www.newsday.com/opinion/editorial/distracted-driving-is-killing-us-1.12414662) published in October 2016 showed that these deaths continued to rise by an additional 7% in 2015 over 2014, meaning this is a trend.
This can mean only one thing – it is not the device that is the problem. It’s a human problem.
TALKING ON A PHONE OR TEXTING WHILE DRIVING INVOLVES THREE TYPES OF DIFFERENT DISTRACTIONS SIMULTANEOUSLY:
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road, therefore preventing you to see and avoid hazards, drift from your lane, etc.
- Manual – taking your hands off the while, again preventing you from quickly reacting to any potential hazard on the road, etc.
- Cognitive – taking your mind off driving.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence of paying attention to the road, call Sacramento auto accident lawyer at The Weinberger Law Firm immediately. You deserve compensation for the pain you suffered.
According to the National Safety Council and its recently published article shows that even for drivers who are using hands-free devices, the road is not as safe as they think. Multitasking is a myth. While your brain can toggle between the tasks quickly it cannot do two different things at the same time.
Drivers who are talking on the phone, including hands-free, can miss up to 50% of what is around them. Moreover, the brain processing power is decreased by up to 33% when simply listening to talking on the phone.
And what is scary, at any moment close to 10% of drivers are talking on their cell phones when they driver. Why would anyone increase their chase of a car accident, catastrophic injury, or death by using a cell phone? It can wait. No text or call is worth your life.
You can do several things to help reduce accidents, injury and even death by:
- making a pledge to not use an electronic device when you drive,
- stay aware of your surroundings, if someone is using a cell phone next to you give them extra space and when it is safe to pull over and report it to the authorities, and
- raise awareness, talk to your friends and family members about the danger of distracted driving.
If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident due to someone else’s negligence of paying attention to the road, call Sacramento auto accident lawyer at The Weinberger Law Firm immediately. We offer free consultation and there is never a fee unless we win.
Provided by The National Safety Council
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