Some Shocking Statistics
Every year in the U.S., almost a half million people are injured or killed in traffic accidents caused by a distracted driver. A "distracted-driver" is not just someone using their cell phone, but anything that takes attention away from driving. Using a navigation system that you glance down at, eating, picking something up off the floor, or coping with a child seated behind you, are just a few other examples of distracted driving. Cell phone usage is still #1 on the distraction list though, with 3,477 fatalities and 391,000 injuries nationwide caused by drivers who were distracted because they were either texting, emailing, or talking on their cell phones. It hits home too. In San Diego last year alone, there were 17 pedestrian deaths and 19 motorcycle and vehicle fatalities— those statistics outstripped the number of people killed as a result of homicides.
The bigger picture is in America, an astounding 69% of drivers (aged 18-64) admitted to using their cell phone while driving during the previous month. Compare this to a European low of 29% in the United Kingdom or 59% in Portugal. Our country also takes the lead in other potential cell phone distractions including reading, checking a road map, and sending text or email messages.
These facts are shocking, considering these types of car accidents can easily be avoided. If a car accident caused by a distracted driver has injured you, or death to a loved one, it may be time to contact a seasoned, car accident attorney.
We live in a world with an outbreak of being distracted. You can even go so far as to say that the urge to be in instant and continuous interaction is an addiction. People tend to read and answer text messages and cell phone calls immediately and experience anxiety if they don’t. We leave cell phones turned on 24/7 so we never miss a single communication. The problem here is that within the few seconds of time used to perform an activity on a cell phone, an auto accident can occur. Within five seconds, a vehicle traveling at 55 mph will go the length of a football field. If you are driving distracted for those 5 seconds, you might as well be blindfolded. Preoccupation with a cell phone while driving can make auto accidents 23 times more likely to happen.
California and San Diego Laws
The state of California and San Diego law represents primary and secondary laws about texting and cell phone use while driving. Special laws apply to drivers under age 18; novice drivers. They are banned from using any cell phone, handheld or hands-free. Bus drivers fall under the same ban of any handheld device, regardless of their age. Texting while driving in the state of California is illegal for all drivers and a first-time offender will pay a fine of $150 and up.