Any activity – from adjusting your mirror and selecting music to texting and eating – that causes drivers to divert their full attention from the road increases the possibility of a motor vehicle crash. Victims can include not only drivers, but also people walking or riding their bikes. Distracted driving contributes to the death of nine people every day in the United States. Inexperienced drivers, namely teenagers, drive distracted more than any other group.
Consequences for distracted driving in California
Surveys over the past several years show about 60% of older teens say they e-mail or text frequently while driving. This percentage was higher than that for any other age group.
Many states have enacted laws penalizing arguably the most well-known form of distracted driving: cell phone use. California, for example, bans texting and the use of hand-held phones for all drivers. These laws impose a fine, as well as legal liability on the distracted driver for damages if they injure another.
Forms of distracted driving extend into areas beyond taking eyes off the road. Two states have drowsy driving laws, which criminalize injuries inflicted by a driver who has not slept. California recognizes Drowsy Driving Day annually on April 6.
Check your priorities behind the wheel
The temptation to check e-mail, connect with an old friend, or drive those last 10 miles increases as society increases its reliance on electronic means of interaction. Even traveling the speed limit, these distractions pose risks of serious injury and even death. An attorney who understands the legal consequences of injuries caused by negligent driving can provide options.