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Distracted Driving Still A Problem In California

With the advent of cell phones, driving while distracted has never been more of an issue for drivers across the country and on the congested roads of California. Distracted driving can result from any activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road, which includes eating, changing the radio station and most commonly using cell phones to call or text.

The danger of driving while distracted is that any loss of focus in driving could lead to a serious car accident. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010 alone 416,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted motorist and more than 3,000 people died.

More than ever legislation is being enacted to reduce accidents and damage caused by drivers who are not giving the road their complete attention. Several states, including California, ban the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Even more states ban text messaging while driving.

The federal government is also concerned about the issue. As of January 3, 2012, a new federal law took effect that prohibits the use of handheld cellphones in commercial vehicles, like trucks, buses and fleet vehicles. The new law also states that drivers will face a fine for each offense and may lose their commercial licenses for repeated offenses.

Though many motorists take precautions when driving, they still may be the victims of an accident at the hands of a distracted driver. As many as 18 percent of injury crashes in 2010 were the result of distracted drivers, and sadly some of these crashes affected safe drivers who simply made the mistake of being nearby. Individuals who are involved in an accident with a distracted driver may have a legal claim.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

Source: USA Today, “Companies weigh risks of distracted driving,” Larry Copeland, April 16, 2012.