January 09, 2013

Distracted Driving Endangers All On The Road
-- Increasing attention is being drawn to the problem of distracted driving, which can take many forms and affect all age groups. Legal options may be available to those injured by distracted drivers. --

    January 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Nationwide, increasing attention is being drawn to the problem of distracted driving. Although people commonly think of teenagers and cellphones when contemplating distracted driving, the truth is that it can take many forms and affect all age groups. The consequences of distracted driving can be severe, ranging from a traffic ticket to the tragic situation of a severe injury or death. When someone is injured in a car accident with a distracted driver, however, there may be legal options available to hold the driver accountable and obtain compensation.

Distracted driving statistics

The California Department of Motor Vehicles states that distracted driving is the main cause of most car accidents. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that some type of driver distraction is involved in 80 percent of all car accidents. Further, the NHTSA also reports that drivers who are texting while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash than a driver who is not distracted.

California distracted driving laws

California enacted laws intended to reduce the occurrence of distracted driving. For instance, all drivers in California are prohibited from using a handheld phone behind the wheel, and all people are also prohibited from texting while driving. In addition, inexperienced drivers and bus drivers may not use cellphones at all while driving, even with a hands-free device. The laws banning handheld cellphone use and texting are primary laws, which means a driver may be pulled over and ticketed for the offense without any other reason for stopping the driver.

These are important driver safety laws, but they only speak to distraction caused by cellphones, leaving many other forms of driver distraction unaddressed. Other behaviors that can be just as distracting -- and dangerous -- while driving include:
- Adjusting the radio or music player
- Talking with or attempting to control passengers or pets
- Apply makeup or fixing one's hair
- Reading maps or newspapers

Each of these actions diminish the driver's focus and increase the risk of a car accident, putting the driver, any passengers and others on the road at risk of harm.

Recovery for distracted driving injuries

Someone injured in a distracted driving accident may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the distracted driver. If the driver was acting without reasonable care for the safety of others on the road, a judge or jury may find the driver negligent in causing the injury. If so, the injured person may be able obtain compensation for his or her pain and suffering, medical expenses, property damage and lost wages resulting from the crash.

In one recent case, a personal injury lawyer was retained by the family of a commercial truck driver who was killed while resting in the sleeper berth of an 18-wheeler which veered into oncoming traffic when the driver at the wheel took his eyes off the road to reach for a snack. The fatal collision endangered oncoming drivers, the defendant driver himself, and killed his co-driver, needlessly depriving a family of the husband and father they loved.

If you have been injured in a car accident with a distracted driver, contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

Article provided by Law Offices of Daral B. Mazzarella, APC
Visit us at mazzarellalaw.com

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