October 28, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Many Los Angeles residents are all too familiar with the sight of drivers who are more focused on their cellphones than on the road. In a busy metropolitan area like Los Angeles, the risks of texting while driving are particularly high -- and yet the phenomenon remains alarmingly common.
Distracted Driving by the Numbers
According to a study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, distracted driving plays a role in 80 percent of U.S. traffic crashes and 65 percent of near-misses. While all types of distractions can be dangerous for drivers, cellphone use -- and texting in particular -- is especially risky because it occupies a driver's eyes, hands and concentration all at once, taking them away from the task of driving.
Researchers at VTTI found that drivers look away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds each time they send or receive a text message. At 55 miles per hour, this is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field -- blindfolded. Perhaps not surprisingly, VTTI researchers also found that texting while driving creates a risk of crashing that is 23 times higher than for non-distracted drivers.
Hands-Free Texting Legalized in California
A new law set to go into effect in California on January 1, 2013, will allow drivers to send and receive text messages with the use of a hands-free device, in much the same way that California law currently permits hands-free cellphone calls while driving. Talking or texting on hand-held devices will remain prohibited, as has been the case in California since 2009.
Some traffic safety advocates believe that an outright ban on all cellphone use while driving would be a better approach to preventing distracted driving injuries, since even hands-free cellphone use involves cognitive distraction that may lead to accidents. However, others believe that California's new hands-free provision is a more practical way to promote safer driving habits.
Distracted Driving: More Than Just Cellphones
While cellphone use and texting have become a major cause of distracted driving accidents in Los Angeles, it is important to remember that other types of driver distraction can have equally disastrous consequences. Other distractions that frequently lead to accidents include:
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting the stereo
- Reading a map
- Reaching for objects inside the vehicle
- Focusing on things outside the vehicle, e.g. looking at a traffic accident or searching for an address
People who have been injured in distracted driving accidents in Los Angeles may be able to receive compensation for their injuries, medical expenses and other losses that they have suffered because of the accident. To learn more about seeking compensation after a distracted driving crash, contact an experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
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