Santa Barbara Attorney Fighting Distracted Driving
Legal Representation for Victims of Distracted Drivers
In 2015, nearly 60% of all California drivers stated that they had or almost had been hit by distracted drivers. 73% of teen drivers nationwide admit to texting while driving. This is probably why vehicle deaths from 2015 - 2016 in California increased by 13%.
Almost 4,000 people are being killed on the road every year in California alone.
Driving an automobile is so basic and commonplace that many drivers forget just how dangerous and demanding the task is and easily become distracted behind the wheel. Distractions can come from both inside and outside a car and are among the most common causes of accidents involving motor vehicles.
While recent California laws have cracked down on the use of phones while driving, there are still numerous distractions that can cause a loss of focus resulting in a serious accident.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving refers to just about any situation in which a driver becomes distracted by something either inside or outside of his or her vehicle. This can be something as simple as changing a radio station, or looking at an accident along the side of the road. Recent laws in California have cracked down on phone use while driving, making it illegal to hold a phone while driving, requiring a hands-free device instead. Other distractions still remain a serious concern, however, especially mind-wandering.
Is Distracted Driving Really That Serious?
Distracted drivers cause a massive number of accidents every year across the country and throughout California. For example, in 2013, more than 3,000 people were killed and over 400,000 people were injured nationwide in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted drivers. The average time a person takes his or her eyes off the road while texting is five seconds. That may not seem like very long, but while traveling at just 55 mph, a vehicle covers the length of a football field. Imagine driving that far on a busy freeway wearing a blindfold. That is exactly what someone does as a distracted driver.
What Happens in a Distracted Driving Accident?
A distracted driver pays no attention to the road and hits you. Quite simply, your car is damaged, you’re injured, you’re emotionally distressed, and you’re completely blameless.
Every driver on the road needs to behave reasonably in order to keep everyone safe. When a teen driver is texting and driving, she could plow into a pedestrian. If a businessman is fiddling with his headset, he could sideswipe a truck in the next lane. Imagine the driver of a big rig distracted by his phone. Any collision could turn into a fiery multi-car pileup with serious injuries or death.
The scary thing is that there’s nothing you can do to make another driver pay attention. These accidents are the result of pure negligence; if you’re injured, do not allow the at-fault driver to get away with it.
What Do I Do If I Have Been in an Accident with a Distracted Driver?
Following a collision, immediately ensure that anyone at the scene who is injured receives medical attention and call emergency services as appropriate. Make sure you remain at the scene to give your contact information, and get information from anyone else involved in the accident and from all witnesses. If the at-fault drivers attempt to leave the scene, get any information you can about them and their vehicles. When a police officer arrives, give an accurate description of what happened and include details about the other driver being distracted. Do not take responsibility for the accident if you were not at fault.
After an accident, do not sign anything provided to you by an insurance company, even your own. Speak to a Santa Barbara car accident lawyer immediately and make sure your attorney reads everything before you sign it. Your lawyer can advise you on how to move forward; all details you have about the other driver being distracted can help strengthen your case.
Let Us Put Our Experience to Work for You!
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, it is NOT your fault. Speak to one of our experienced accident injury lawyers to explore your options and make sure your rights are protected. A civil lawsuit can help you with medical expenses, offset lost income due to injuries or changes in lifestyle, and help discourage others from driving while distracted.
Do not suffer alone after an accident caused by the negligence of a distracted driver. You deserve compensation for your pain and the expenses you face after a collision. Call us at NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022. Tell us about your situation and we can discuss your options moving forward.
- Distracted Driving Blogs
- If a Distracted Driver Hits a Pedestrian, Who Is to Blame?
- Drivers Not Distracted Using ‘Hands-Free’ Devices? Think Again
- Distracted Driving - IIHS
- Distracted Driving - What You Need to Know - FMCSA
- Distracted Driving Information from NHTSA
- Distracted Driving: One Call Can Change Everything