May 4, 2021
Every day, approximately eight people in the U.S. are killed in car accidents that are reported to involve a distracted driver. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm that statistic, and define distracted driving as “driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving.” That means whether you’re texting, changing the radio station, looking in the vanity mirror, eating, drinking, taking a selfie, or gazing mindlessly at the scnery – you’re committing an illegal act of distracted driving. While many more examples of distracted driving exist, texting while driving is most commonly cited cause of car accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2019, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers and cell phones. The NHTSA also indicates that sending or reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for five entire seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. A lot can go wrong during those five seconds, and while national advertising campaigns and public service announcements have attempted to highlight and emphasize the dangers of texting while driving, many individuals – predominantly young people – continue to do so without considering the consequences.
AT&T reported in 2015 that 42% of high school students admitted that they text or email while driving. Car insurance comparison website, The Zebra, compiled additional key statistics and figures from various government agencies, such as the NHTSA, National Safety Council, and Insurance Information Institute. The statistics provide an alarming overview on how dangerous distracted driving can be:
A new survey issued at the beginning of the year by The Zebra examined both driving pattern behaviors as well as beliefs held by most of us regarding distracted driving. The survey represents the most current distracted driving statistics for 2021. Some of the survey’s findings include:
Distracted driving is so dangerously prevalent that the California legislature recently passed AB 47 to help crack down on hands-free device offenders. The law takes effect on July 1, 2021.
Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.
The CDC have produced compelling data indicating how prevalent distracted driving is among teens and young adults.
According to the CDC, 2018 figures for the U.S. indicate:
The CDC have also established a Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). This system monitors various health risk behaviors among U.S. high school students, such as sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol and other drug use, unhealthy dietary behaviors, tobacco use, inadequate physical activity/exercise, and texting or emailing while driving.
A TYBSS study on texting or emailing while driving was conducted in 2019 through a survey completed by high school drivers. That survey’s results revealed the following:
Those behaviors, identified by the CDC’s study for 2019, included:
In other words, students who participate in one type of risky behavior like texting while driving tend to also report participating in other risky behaviors when operating a motor vehicle. This is a fact that should be alarming for parents, as well as those of us who drive, walk, or bike California’s roads and highways.
As is the case for any type of car accident, the first step is to determine whether or not anyone is injured, and to call 911 if even a minor injury occurred. As we have pointed out in a number of blogs, latent injuries showing no immediate symptoms are common in car accidents. Therefore, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and, if there is any chance whatsoever that someone may have sustained an injury in a car accident, ensure your first move is to call 911 immediately.
We’ve also identified 10 steps that should be taken after a car accident, which have been provided throughout our various car accident blogs. In case you missed these, the general steps are as follows:
As we’ve indicated above, distracted driving is dangerous, damages lives, causes fatalities, and is something no one should practice. If you’ve been in a car accident where you were distracted (and likely caused the incident), you may face criminal charges in addition to a potential civil suit. However, under California’s comparative fault law, there is a possibility – despite you being largely responsible for the accident due to distraction – that if the accident is somehow deemed to not be 100% your fault (i.e. the other driver played a role as well, perhaps being temporarily blinded by sun glare) you may still be eligible to recover some financial compensation via a civil claim if you sustained injuries.
For partially at-fault drivers, proving a case on your own – particularly in accidents involving distracted driving – can be almost impossible. Hence, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to help prove your percentage of fault is highly recommended.
Senseless injuries resulting from drivers texting, emailing, or taking selfies happen every day, especially here in Los Angeles. For injured car accident victims, filing a civil claim can help you recover the financial compensation you deserve for things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, vehicle damage, emotional trauma, rehabilitation, and much more.
Victims of distracted driving should never settle for a lowball settlement offer from a major auto insurance corporation. These companies have their clients (the at-fault distracted drivers) and their bottom financial lines in mind, and they will do everything in their power to minimize your payout. If you’ve been seriously injured, a damages award that is anything less than the maximum allowable for your specific circumstances is not only unacceptable, it can leave you with ongoing bills and potential financial hardships.
Hiring a proven and dedicated car accident lawyer from DLG is the best way to protect your legal rights and help ensure that your claim is successful. While you’re focusing on your physical recovery and getting back on your feet, you’ll have an experienced and aggressive advocate fighting on your behalf to recover a maximum financial damages award.
A unique advantage provided to every car accident client represented by DLG is the added benefit of having a former LAPD detective investigate your claim and recover critical evidence that can be the difference between a $5,000 settlement and a multi-million dollar settlement. Proving fault in a distracted driving case can be challenging, which is why having an in-house professional detective uncovering every shred of evidence is so important.
DLG’s Chief Investigator, Detective Moses Castillo, recently partnered with the American Automobile Association to highlight the dangers of texting, emailing, etc. while operating an automobile. To see pictures and videos from the event, take a look at the following page. Castillo has investigated and closed some of the city’s most tragic and complex car accident cases while with the LAPD’s elite Central Traffic Division. Whether your distracted driving claim involves a difficult hit-and-run or straightforward rear-end collision, you can be sure that Detective Moses will gather the evidence required to help prove your case.
And before you decide to accept that likely minimal settlement offer from the insurance company, keep in mind that DLG employs two former auto insurance defense attorneys who have vast knowledge and experience related to insider tricks and tactics used to reduce financial payouts to injured victims like you. Now, Arpineh Yeremian and Paulina Jaafar work for us, applying their insider knowledge of the insurance industry to help our clients maximize their damages awards after untimely car accidents.
Contact us today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 for a free consultation. Whether you’re the victim of a distracted driving incident or have any personal injury legal needs, we’re here to help 24/7. And with our no win/no fee guarantee, the best legal representation in California is available to everyone, without the worry of upfront costs or hidden fees.
DLG is the premier car accident law firm in California. With our 98% success record and history of recovering over $100,000,000 for injured victims, why would you choose anyone else but the firm that offers personalized, dedicated, and discreet legal representation and support to each and every client?
After a car accident injury, start the legal process towards recovering a maximum financial damages award by contacting DLG.
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