Saying, “I only took my eyes off the road for a couple of minutes,” may not provide a driver with a reasonable defense. Instead, the driver’s statement may turn into an admission of fault. Distracted driving often contributes to accidents in California. Often, a lack of attention to the road may undermine a driver’s ability to react. Sometimes, seconds count to avoid an accident, and changing the station on the radio takes away that precious time.
The dangers of distracted driving
Fatalities occur on U.S. roads every day due to distracted driving. Distracted driving refers to doing something that takes attention away from the road. Even speaking to someone in the passenger seat may cause a dangerous distraction. Choosing to engage in a phone conversation or type an email while driving comprise the typical commuter activities with severe risks. Untold drivers choose to operate a steering wheel with one hand while eating, combing their hair or tapping a touchscreen app. Such behaviors may also raise the risks of an accident occurring.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released tragic figures about distracted driving-related fatalities. In 2018, roughly 2,800 people died in distracted driving collisions. Some fatalities involved pedestrians and bicycle riders going about their business when struck by distracted drivers.
Drivers need to realize that if they cause distracted driving accidents, a court may find them negligent and thus, at fault for the crashes. Liability claims or personal injury lawsuits may follow.
Individuals at risk for distracted driving behaviors
Virtually anyone could be prone to distracted driving behaviors. However, statistics show that significant percentages are teenage drivers and adults in their 20s. A lack of driving experience may factor into such figures as could a young person’s tendency to use technology. Changing podcasts or dictating “hands-free” commands may lead to mishaps, even fatal ones.
Other drivers could find themselves distracted. A food delivery gig worker may discover his or her attention drifting to posted street addresses, and a pet owner could struggle with an unsecured cat or dog.
No matter the reason for the distraction, if a motor vehicle accident (MVA) occurs, questions about negligence may follow. Injured parties should consider speaking with a personal injury attorney.