People taking the wheel in California may be concerned about the danger to roadway safety posed by distracted driving. While the ubiquity of the smartphone is often associated with the increase in car accidents and dangerous behavior associated with driving while distracted, it is not the only form of diversion drivers face that keep their eyes and mind away from the road. From putting on makeup to eating to fiddling with a touchscreen entertainment system, distracted driving is easy to fall into, and the consequences can be devastating. In 2015 alone, 3,477 people lost their lives due to distracted driving.
Texting while driving may be the form of driving distraction best known for its potential for causing car accidents. Texting is of particular concern because writing out a message can take up to 5 seconds of a driver’s time. At 55 miles per hour, the driver could have gone the length of a football field with their eyes off the road, making it all too easy to cause a devastating car crash.
The problem with distracted driving is not only found in the thousands of fatalities but in the far greater number of injuries. In 2015, 391,000 people were injured in crashes that involved distracted drivers. Car accident injuries can include back and spinal cord injuries, concussions and brain injuries that lead to lifelong disabilities, time away from work and extensive medical treatment. Despite the publicity about distracted driving, it is estimated that 660,000 drivers are using their cellphones at any given time during daylight hours.
People who have been injured in car accidents caused by someone else’s negligent, dangerous or distracted driving can face mounting medical bills and ongoing pain. They might consult with a personal injury lawyer to advise and represent them in seeking compensation for their damages, including lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.