Distracted driving is one of the primary causes of car accidents across the country. In 2015, 3,477 fatalities occurred in accidents involving a distracted driver. What can you do to remain undistracted while at the wheel of your car? Read on for some potentially lifesaving tips.
Always Keep Your Eyes on the Road
How fast can a distraction turn into an accident? Accidents due to distracted driving usually occur within 3 seconds of the distraction. That means it is vital always to keep your eyes on the road. What are some distractions that take a driver’s eyes away from the road for those crucial seconds?
- Checking a mobile device – Be determined not to be distracted by a mobile device while driving. If you are in a fatal accident, you will never get to reply to that text. Better to leave it until you arrive at your destination. You can pull over for emergency calls or texts.
- Adjusting radio stations – Many cars now have buttons on the wheel to help a driver change stations with minimal distraction. If you have a passenger with you, it’s better to allow him or her to be the DJ.
- Conversations in the car – It’s okay to talk to your friends while driving, but be careful not to become so engrossed in the conversation that you are turning to look at your passengers. Avoid emotionally charged conversation that can be even more distracting.
- Eating or drinking – Trying to open a wrapper on a fast food burger can pull your eyes off the road long enough for an accident. It’s better to take a few minutes in the parking lot to eat if you don’t have time to go inside a restaurant.
- Applying makeup – Apply makeup before leaving the house or in the parking lot after arriving at your destination.
- Smoking – If you can’t make it to your destination without lighting up, it’s better to pull over for a few minutes than to smoke and drive. Best of all would be to break the habit.
If You Have Been Injured by a Distracted Driver
In 2015, distracted drivers caused 391,000 injuries. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to far more compensation that what the insurance company will initially offer you. Before signing anything or accepting a settlement, consult a personal injury attorney at Petrov Law Firm to ensure you are getting what you deserve. Call 619-344-0360 to schedule a consultation now.
California has updated its laws involving the use of wireless mobile devices while driving. The laws already prohibited the use of electronic devices to do things such as text or send an email while operating a motor vehicle. However, the updated laws take the device out of a driver’s hands completely.
Updated Sections of the Wireless Device Law
Updates to the law are as follows:
- Holding a mobile device while driving is now an offense.
- The device may be touched but must be mounted to the windshield (in a manner similar to a GPS).
- The driver can only use his hands to swipe or tap to turn on voice or hands-free operations.
- Voice commands and other hands-free device controls are still allowed.
- Penalties start at $20 and increase based on the number of offenses.
What does this mean for car accidents? If a person is in violation of these new laws and injures someone in an accident, this now adds to the driver’s accountability.
If You Have Been Injured by a Driver Using a Smartphone
If you have been injured by a driver who was illegally using a smartphone when the accident occurred, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Damages may include repair costs, medical care costs, and pain and suffering.
To learn more, call the Petrov Law Firm to schedule a consultation. Our personal injury attorneys are skilled at determining the right amount of compensation owed in this type of case. If you need someone in your corner to help you receive the proper amount in damages, call 619-344-0360 today.Read More
Drivers and bike riders are not allowed to operate their vehicles while wearing a headset or earbuds in both ears. 2016 brought about a slight change in the law, but a similar law been in place for several years.
Covering one ear is still OK. Why? Because there is almost no research that suggests using one ear for a phone conversation is an accident risk. As long as the driver is using a headset and remains able to drive with both hands, then using one ear for a phone conversation (or music) is still legal.
If you were in an accident with someone who appeared to be wearing a headset, you need to contact a lawyer immediately. Establishing blame is critical in determining who is financially responsible for any medical costs, property damage, and lost wages. Witnesses become a critical part of any case involving drivers or bike riders wearing ear buds in both ears.
The lawyer will help you contact the witnesses who can support your claims. Although you can try to contract the witnesses yourself, a layer is better equipped to collect all the evidence to support you claim. If you are being blamed for the accident and being accused of wearing ear buds, you should also have a lawyer to ensure that any evidence against you was properly attained.Read More
In California there are two primary laws that define settlements or judgments for cases that include a driver using a handheld device. A recent study revealed that at any moment, more than 600,000 people are using a handheld device while driving somewhere in the US. And if any of them gets in an accident while using their phone, the blame for the accident will fall squarely in their lap.
If you were using your cell phone in any way during an accident, you will need a lawyer to defend you and help keep any judgement fairly within the law. Lawyers, police, courts, insurance companies, and the media are vocally critical of drivers who use their phone without a headset. And while the criticism is fair, sometimes those drivers take on a greater share of blame than necessary for the accidents.
To start, many drivers are embarrassed about causing an accident. They feel guilty and are willing to take on the majority of the blame out of a sense of obligation. The insurance companies are more than willing to use these feelings of guilt. Both sides of an insurance claim don’t want lawyers to drive up the cost of the claims; so when a driver is willing to to take blame, the insurance companies don’t protest.
Frequently, the blame is far closer to 50-50. In order to determine the true distribution of blame, you will need a good lawyer to ask some tough questions of the other driver. Instead of letting you be the default reason for an accident, a good lawyer will dig deep and look at other factors such as the other driver’s speed, driving record, and condition of his or her vehicle. Frequently, when a good lawyer analyzes the other driver, blame can be shared more evenly.
Being on your phone without a headset while driving is against the law. And if you caused an accident, you should expect to pay a fine for your choices. However, the financial cost of the accident doesn’t have to fall entirely on your shoulders. Have a good lawyer to help you determine a fair and equitable determination of fault.Read More
Despite the laws designed to discourage Californians from using their cell phones while driving, drivers still use a variety of mobile devices and frequently cause accidents. Cell phones, tablets, and even GPS devices, when misused, distract drivers and cause thousands of accidents every year. If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver using a cell phone, contact a lawyer immediately to start your personal injury case.
Because of myths and misunderstandings about the laws that govern device usage while driving, many drivers don’t realize they are breaking the law. For example, some drivers think that if they use the speakerphone feature, they aren’t breaking the law. Others think that by using the GPS feature on the phone, they are within the law.
You will need the help of a lawyer to determine if the driver who caused the accident was using his or her cell phone. Most people will simply lie when asked if they were using their phone while driving. Because finding the cause of the accident will very often have significant financial implications, you will need your lawyer to help you get the phone records of the other driver. Witness testimony is also helpful to prove the other driver was on the phone; but witness are hard to find even just a few moments after a high speed accident.
Don’t dismiss the value of placing the blame where it belongs. Lawyers and insurance companies will need proof that the other driver was using a mobile device. Call an experienced lawyer today to help you establish cause and firmly place the financial burden where it belongs.Read More
In response to a growing number of accidents involving inexperienced drivers talking or texting of their cell phone, the National Transportation Safety Board called for a ban of drivers with learner’s permits or intermediate licenses from using cell phones, pagers or any other electronic device while driving.
We all know too well the dangers associated with young inexperienced drivers on the road. We are disheartened to hear that a recent study showed that wrongful auto deaths of teen drivers rose 20% over the past six months.
It’s just not possible to pay proper attention to the road when looking at a cell phone, and it’s frightening to see people drive similar to someone who has been under the influence of alcohol. In one bad decision, lives can be shattered.
This year, sadly, teen driver deaths have risen, as last year demonstrated a 3% percent increase, ending an eight year reduction. Experts relate the increase in teen auto accident wrongful deaths to a turn-around in the country’s economy.
When a families’ income is higher, they tend to drive more. Other causes include distracted driving will lessen with the passing of a recent law prohibiting texting while driving.
Auto accidents involving teen deaths were not the only related rise in auto accidents. Traffic fatalities are expected to rise approximately 8% the next year. We can only hope that we continue to pass common sense bills, like the texting ban, to get back to reductions in needless deaths.
Using a cell phone when driving is a very risky. Texting while driving is an even higher risk. We now know that cell phone use is a factor in many more crashes than texting. Talk to your teens about the risks. Help your teens stay safe on the road by discussing the life and death consequences of using their cell phone while driving. We urge all drivers to stay alert and drive defensively.Read More
Recent reports state the number of car crashes caused by cell phone use and texting while driving at 1.6 million – one million more than previously thought. Have you seen these drivers? With one hand their holding their cell phone trying to balance it to their ear. The other hand is clutching a cup of coffee. The question begs, which hand is driving?
It’s easy to tell when you’re driving behind someone on a cell phone. They’re not paying attention to the road! They speed up, change lanes unexpectedly, stop in the middle of the road – it’s frightening to drive near them. You see them weaving in their lane and driving slowly very similar to the impact of someone under the influence of alcohol.
A report in the New England Journal of Medicine compared the effects of using a cell phone while driving to the impact of driving legally drunk. While the study’s methodology has been criticized, eyewitness reports confirm the problem.
Researchers have long found that using a cell phone while driving dramatically impairs the ability to drive. It is not just the visual impairment, such as when a driver takes his eyes off the road when dialing a number or writing text. It’s the cognitive disconnect involved. The brain is focused on a virtual conversation, so it does not compute images that come into the driver’s view.
The National Safety Council released estimates that at least 28% of all traffic accidents involve drivers using cell phones and texting. They estimate that each year 1.4 million crashes involve drivers using cell phones. Tens of thousands additional accidents involve drivers who are texting.
It’s apparent that using a cell phone when driving is a very risky distraction and it’s obvious that texting is even higher risk. We now know that cell phone use is a factor in many more crashes than texting. The main reason is that millions more drivers use cell phones than text. That is why we need to address both texting and cell phone use on our roads. Our advice? Stay safe on the road, and leave your cell phone alone when driving. We urge all drivers to stay alert and drive defensively.Read More
April is considered Safe Driving Awareness Month by the California Highway Patrol, so the CHP is being extra diligent this month when it comes to stopping people they suspect are talking on the phone without a hands free device or texting while driving. Laws were passed in
2008 and 2009 making it an infraction to talk and/or text on your phone without a hands free device. Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to talk on their phone at all while driving, whether or not a hands free device is used. The first offense for violating this law yields a fine of $159 or more while a second offense will cost the driver at least $279. With this crackdown, the CHP hopes to increase the number of people who think about these fines before they decide to talk or text while driving. Please visit our website for more information about what you can do if you have been injured by a distracted driver.Read More