Distracted driving is one of the top causes of accidents across the nation. In California, it is even worse. The rate of distracted driving is well above the national average, and it’s commonplace to see on the freeways, highways, and surface streets. Isn’t that alarming? People traveling at roughly 70 miles-per-hour are checking their phones, texting, and switching apps. That is obviously dangerous, but still, the majority of drivers on the road do it daily.
After a distracted driving crash, you might think the case itself is open and shut. Unfortunately, many people know that it can be a challenge to prove distracted driving. The at-fault driver may not have even gotten a ticket! So you’ll have to take swift and decisive action to ensure that you are in control of your claim and have the fighting chance to access the compensation that you need.
What Counts as Distracted Driving?
Anything which takes away attention from driving counts as distracted driving. Many drivers aren’t aware that their everyday activities could count as distracted driving and could put them at-fault for an accident.
For example, changing the radio station counts as distracted driving, and having a conversation with a passenger is also distracted driving. Of course, the most notable distracted driving is texting behind-the-wheel or using your phone. The overarching estimate is that the five seconds that someone glances at their phone involves traveling about the length of a football field.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Association is emphasizing the volume of people who are involved in fatal accidents or experience debilitating injuries because of distracted driving. They note that in 2018 over 2,800 people died in motor vehicle collisions as a result of distracted driving.
Why Are There Not More Restrictive Laws on Distracted Driving?
The laws themselves regarding distracted driving in California are restrictive. California law expressly prohibits the use of a cell phone while driving. They do allow for a hands-free mode, which involves not touching your phone at all. Anything that can be done through voice command or the vehicle console is permissible. However, even those actions could be considered distracted driving as they pull your attention away from the road.
The trouble is not the restrictive nature of the laws. It is the lack of consequences. The first offense for driving while distracted involving a cell phone is $20. II fine for using a phone behind the wheel is $50. Of course, they do like to add assessment fees and other violations, which can increase the cost of the ticket or accident.
Accidents Involving Distracted Driving
Go Safely California is responsible for providing a number of insights into driver behavior on California roadways. They survey a number of California drivers each year, and in 2019, about 60% of drivers reported that they were hit or nearly hit because of someone texting or talking. However, even with this heightened awareness, 51% of drivers report that they make the same mistake of talking and texting behind the wheel.
In 2017 there were over 3,000 fatalities in California associated with distractions while driving. Distracted driving is quickly overtaking Driving Under the Influence as one of the top risks on the road. Unlike DUIs, distracted driving is not usually specified to certain days or time frames. Distractions while driving are something that the majority of drivers face on a regular basis.
Claim Pain and Suffering from an Irvine Car Accident Attorney
It is all too common that people miss out on large portions of their claim closure because of pain and suffering. When people handle their claims independently, it may seem impossible to include pain and suffering. In fact, many insurance companies will avidly work to destroy self-calculated pain and suffering valuation. That is when it’s time to call in an Irvine car accident attorney. Not only are people on the lookout for how to get the most compensation possible to cover their damages, but they also have to battle against an insurance company to get it.
At Crockett Law Group, we take special steps to ensure that your foundation of the claim is solid. Then we use proven methods to calculate pain and suffering so insurance companies or attorneys in a courtroom would have trouble pulling apart the calculator. We find that tried and true methods hold up best, and we use them to protect our clients while they attempt to recover from their collision.