Were you hit by a car driven by a distracted driver?
You are not alone. Every year in California, around 700 people are killed in pedestrian–motor vehicle collisions and thousands of others are injured. With the rise of distracted driving, these numbers are expected to increase. Santa Barbara, especially, has dangerous winding roads and any lapse of attention could lead to disaster for both the driver and anyone else on the road.
In California, texting and driving is completely banned, but a motorist can still use hands-free device technology for talking and making calls while on the road.
A recent survey conducted by the Automobile Association of America’s (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety found that three out of four Americans nationwide believe that the use of hands-free devices, such as speech-based technologies, is risk free.
However, a recent study found that this is simply not the case.
“We know now that devices like voice-detect or voice-to-email systems can create substantial mental distractions, which can lead to degradation of driving performance, “ said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Kissinger said that a recent study prepared for AAA by researchers at the University of Utah shows that the human brain isn’t really wired to multi-task and that it is “virtually impossible for the brain to do two complex things at the same time.”
Researchers tested reaction time in drivers who were being presented with a variety of distractions, such as conversing with a passenger or talking on hand-held phones or using hands-free devices.
The study found that some distractions, such as listening to the radio while driving, posed the lowest risk on a distraction scale of one to three. However, on that same scale, using voice-activated technology posed the highest risk of distraction (level three).
What does this mean if you have been involved in an automobile injury accident that was not your fault? The automobile accident attorneys at the Law Office of Reneé J. Nordstrand point out that even if a motorist is complying with the California cell phone law, it does not mean he or she is not dangerously distracted while behind the wheel.
Distracted driving is still negligent driving. A distracted driver who causes an accident is still liable for damages — whether that motorist was following the law or not.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, call our Santa Barbara car accident attorneys at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530. We can also be contacted online. Your case review will be complimentary.
A multi-agency group of law enforcement leaders gathered at a press-conference in Buellton to show their support for Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. This is a nationwide campaign designed to make motorists aware of the dangers of distracted driving; especially the hazards of driving while texting or using a cell phone.
The agencies reconfirmed their commitment to keep looking for inattentive drivers and echoed their support for the statewide Zero Tolerance Distracted Driving Enforcement Operation, which begins on April 1 and runs through April 30. Drivers who are caught texting or using a cell phone will not be issued a warning, but will be ticketed. According to the Santa Barbara Independent, more than 57,000 tickets were issued in California during the operation last April.
A spokesman for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department told the gathering, “We have experienced far too many distracted driver-related fatal and injury accidents right here in Santa Barbara County. Such tragedies are 100% percent preventable. The consequences of texting and driving can kill innocent victims and leave a lifetime of sorrow and regret for others, including the distracted driver.”
It is estimated that in 2011 more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driver-related accidents and an additional 387,000 people were injured.
The Santa Barbara auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand commend the national effort to reign in distracted and negligent drivers during Distracted Driving Awareness Month. There are far too many distracted drivers on California’s roads and highways causing injuries and deaths that are preventable. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a distracted driver, call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530 to learn about your legal options.