Statistics on Cell Phone and Hand-Held Device Use
California is one of the most picturesque states in the nation. Unfortunately, however, it is the site of thousands of automobile accidents a year. In 2008, the CHP reported that over 8,500 accidents resulted in serious injury occurred, while 220 accidents resulted in fatalities. There are obviously many reasons for car accidents, but one of the newest and most pervasive causes of accidents today is the use of cell phones and other hand-held devices while driving.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Driving while using a cell phone or other handheld device is one of the most dangerous and most preventable forms of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers who use a hand-held device while driving are 400% more likely to get into serious car accidents. This is because when a driver's attention is focused on a phone conversation or a GPS screen rather than the road, the driver is less likely to react to dangerous situations on the road, let alone see them at all. In fact, a Carnegie Mellon study found that using a cell phone can reduce the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%! This means drivers are more than 1/3 less aware of the road when they are busy talking or texting.
Although the state of California has placed a ban on the use of cell phones and other hand-held devices while driving, many of us—approximately 80%, to give an estimate—admittedly still use them on the road. Even when we use hands-free devices such as Bluetooth headsets, the risk of getting into an accident is still significantly higher than when we have our full attention focused on driving. The problem is not the actual devices themselves—the problem is that when drivers are engaged in conversations or other various tasks involving their devices, they are less capable of reacting to the ever-changing conditions of the road.
Texting While Driving: 23 Times More Dangerous
Texting, however, is by far the most dangerous form of distraction when it comes to driving. Texting while driving increases one's risk of a serious accident by 2300%, so a driver who is texting is 23 times more likely than an undistracted driver to crash. Texting is particularly dangerous because it requires us to completely look away from the road and at a small cell phone screen. In one study, drivers who spent six seconds sending a text message had their eyes off the road for a full four seconds. Because it takes roughly two seconds to identify and react to changes on the road, it is easy to understand why texting can be so hazardous.
What to Do if You Have Been Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident
If you or any of your loved ones have ever been injured in an accident that you believe may have involved a cell phone or hand-held device, you should immediately consult with an experienced Fresno personal injury attorney to find out more about your legal options. Driving while distracted is unacceptable in the eyes of the law, and if you have been injured because someone else has disregarded this law, it is within your rights to seek justice. A
personal injury claim may be the answer.
Pacific Attorney Group today to have one of our experienced Fresno personal injury lawyers evaluate your case and serve as your legal advocate should you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.