San Luis Obispo Distracted Driving Accident Attorney for Texting and Driving and More
What Constitutes Distracted Driving?
When you mention the phrase “distracted driving,” people immediately think of texting while driving. However, distracted driving is much more common than people think - there are many other distractions begging for your attention every time you get behind the wheel. In addition, distracted driving still remains a serious threat on our nation’s roadways. The CDC reports that 9 people are killed and 1,000 people are injured in motor vehicle crashes every day as a result of distracted driving. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you should speak with a San Luis Obispo car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Earl E. Conaway, III, A Professional Law Corporation, diligently works on behalf of victims who have been in car accidents due to a driver being distracted while driving.
Distracted Driving Can Result in Serious Injuries
When students are studying for their driver’s license, the concept of paying attention and not being distracted is repeatedly reinforced for a reason -- distractions can cause deadly accidents. For example, let’s say the driver is carefully watching the road, and a bicyclist swerves into traffic. In this instance, the driver can react safely and stop in time. If, however, this same driver is texting while driving, they may be so focused on their phone that they fail to see the cyclist swerve and ultimately hit them. When attention is focused elsewhere and not on driving, it’s impossible to react and avoid accidents quickly.
The majority of distracted driving cases are the result of drivers driving and texting. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2017 that distracted driving caused 3,166 deaths. Anything that can divert your eyes for five seconds while driving at 55 miles per hour is equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed. This also means that nearly six percent of deadly vehicle accidents are directly caused by distracted driving.
Distracted Driving is Negligent Driving
If you are injured in an accident caused by another driver, you may be wondering whether you can pursue a claim for your injuries. Generally speaking, in order to pursue a personal injury claim, you will need to prove that the other driver was negligent. You can prove negligence by showing that the other driver was driving while distracted. To this end, the police report can be especially helpful. A San Luis Obispo accident lawyer can review your case and determine whether you can pursue a personal injury claim if you have been injured. Below are some of the common distracted driving claims:
Texting While Driving Causes Distracted Driving Accidents
When a driver is not entirely focused on the road, this presents cognitive driver distraction. If the driver is texting while driving, they are not devoting all their attention to the roadway, which means that their brain fails to process real-time events, as well as what is happening with surrounding drivers, other vehicles on the road and potential hazards. Glancing up and looking at the road every few seconds is not safe, as the primary focus is not on driving.
In California and many other states, it is illegal to text or use a handheld cellular device while driving. Furthermore, drivers under the age of 18 years cannot use hands-free cellphones at all. The state also has another law that bans other wireless devices and texting while driving.
The National Safety Council reports that 100 people are injured daily in distracted driving crashes, which accounts for nearly 25 percent of motor vehicle accidents.
Other Visual Distractions
Visual distractions are anything that takes your eyes off of the road. Taking your eyes off the road for even a split second can result in an accident because you not only miss oncoming hazards, but you also reduce your reaction time. Visual distractions are among the most common distractions drivers face while driving. Some examples of common visual distractions are as follows:
- Looking at the scenery out the side window of the vehicle
- Checking notifications on your phone
- Attempting to read a map or directions while driving
Manual distractions are those distractions that require you to take your hands off of the steering wheel. When you take your hands off the wheel, you reduce your ability to control the vehicle safely, and again, reduce your reaction time. In the event that you need to avoid a hazard, the second or two that you need to return your hands to the wheel could make the difference between safely avoiding a crash and getting in an accident. Here are some examples of the most common manual distractions:
- Manipulating the radio or other dashboard controls
- Reaching onto the floor or into the backseat to pick up items
Of course, many manual distractions are often coupled with visual distractions. In that case, a manual distraction can be doubly dangerous.
As you might have guessed, a cognitive distraction is anything that takes your mind off of the road. Many drivers forget that driving requires you to pay full time and attention while you are behind the wheel. Anything that reduces your focus from driving is a distraction that could lead to a serious car accident:
- Holding a conversation with your passengers
- Driving while drowsy
- Driving while upset
Experienced San Luis Obispo Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
Earl E. Conaway, III, A Professional Law Corporation, has more than a decade of experience prosecuting distracted driving cases, helping victims recover the necessary monetary award to move on with their lives and heal. We offer free legal consultations, and we never collect any legal fees unless you receive compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.