Texting and driving is a dangerous road hazard. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed the loss of 3,477 lives to distracted driving in 2015. While other activities, such as eating and fiddling with your navigation or entertainment system, contribute to these statistics, texting is by far the deadliest.
The numbers are alarming. Nearly three-quarters of all American motorists admit they have participated in distracted behavior behind the wheel, and more than half reveal they have specifically texted while driving. These numbers are reflected by California drivers as well. This dangerous behavior continues, despite the fact that driver distraction can have near-instant consequences, typically within 2 to 3 seconds of the activity.
Approximately 80 percent of traffic collisions are due to driver distraction. In California, there were nearly half a million convictions for texting and handheld cell phone violations in 2013. And when you text and drive, you are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision. The NHTSA reported 424,000 traffic accident-related injuries involving distracted driving in 2013.
High Risk Teen Driving
The age of social media and instant access to news, entertainment and communication have taken their toll with today's youth. Teenage drivers present the greatest risk involving texting and driving. About 25 percent of these young drivers reply to a text at least once each time they get behind the wheel. A fifth of teen drivers admit to participating in extended texting conversations while driving.
Teens have grown up with cell phones, and they are far more likely than adults to ignore the dangers of texting behind the wheel. Studies show that when it comes to distracted driving, the longest interval of taking your eyes off the road is caused by browsing, dialing and texting. This average is about 23 seconds. When driving 55 mph, you can travel the length of 4 and a half football fields in that time frame.
California legislation has banned certain cellphone activities while driving since 2006. But the new 2017 law prohibits using any handheld mobile device while behind the wheel. Your cell phone, GPS or other electronic wireless communications devices must be mounted in your vehicle and set up for hands-free voice operation. This prohibits streaming videos and taking photos from the behind the wheel. Fines for these infractions start at $20 and increase to $50 for each repeated violation.
If you have an injury caused by a motor vehicle accident involving a distracted driver, you can act now to recover compensation for your damages and losses. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney is instrumental in helping you assert your rights and receive fair and just compensation. With all the information about distracted driving available to motorists, there is no excuse for this type of negligent and harmful behavior behind the wheel, not when the consequences can be so dire.