California Distracted Driving Campaign Begins
California Distracted Driving Campaign Begins. Distracted driving is such a problem along Interstate 80 that the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has initiated a week-long safety campaign to address its dangers. According to statistics compiled by the CHP, 8.7 percent of collisions in California in 2017 involved drivers using their cell phones out of the total of 22,315 collisions. In response, officers with the CHP will be along Interstate 80 for eight days to catch these offenders.
The Extent of the Campaign Against California Distracted Driving
In conjunction with the Nevada Highway Patrol, this joint effort is aimed at reducing the number of distracted drivers and lowering the number of fatalities to zero. From San Francisco and through Berkeley to Vallejo, Davis, Sacramento, Truckee and Northern Nevada all the way to the California border with Utah. Drivers who were interviewed about the program were supportive. However, they expressed some doubts about its effectiveness.
Underlying Reasons for the Plan to Reduce California Distracted Driving
The plan was put into effect following two serious collisions along I-80 close to the exit for Manuel Campos Parkway. In the first accident, a state trooper was killed, along with the driver he had pulled over when another vehicle plowed into the two men. The driver of the vehicle that caused the fatalities was reported as talking on a cell phone and speeding when the collision occurred. In the second accident, three workers for Caltrans, who were cleaning up trash along the roadside, were struck and injured. The driver, in this case, was reportedly distracted by using a cell phone when the collision occurred.
Cell Phone Use While Driving Is Widespread
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, use of cell phones is the number one reason for California distracted driving. They report that more than half a million hand-held cell phones are in use by drivers anytime during the daylight hours. In California, it is illegal for drivers to handle a cell phone while driving, although hands-free options are legal. In addition, a report by the National Safety Council says that the numbers may be underreported. This, of course, is because the numbers only reflect the drivers who were seen and stopped by authorities while driving and using their phones. Many instances of California distracted driving go unseen every day.
Are Hands-Free Phones Safe?
When queried, 80 percent of all drivers said that they believed hands-free cell phone use was safer. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Some studies have even pointed out that using a hands-free device is worse since it gives the driver a false sense of security. The fact is, distraction is more than simply holding something. It is the loss of attention that drivers give up when their thoughts are fixated on something other than driving. It is well known that a person’s ability to correctly process moving images is reduced by 33 percent when they are talking on the phone. Since driving entails the ability to monitor other moving vehicles, it is clear why California distracted driving is so dangerous.
Why Is Texting So Hazardous?
Texting is probably the most common California distracted driving behavior that occurs. Generally, there are three main ways to be distracted:
- Visual distraction: This involves looking at anything other than the road while driving.
- Cognitive: Thinking of something else when driving can be distracting.
- Manual: Using your hands for anything other than gripping the wheel is considered distracting.
One of the reasons that texting is dangerous is because all three functions must be used to text. In the five seconds it takes to read or send a text message, your vehicle could cross an average sized football field at 55 mph.
Watch YouTube Video: The Hazards of Distracted Driving. This video demonstrates the dangers of distracted driving.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. When you have been involved in an accident due to a distracted driver, you need the help of an experienced attorney. Reach out to me at (916) 921-6400 in the area and (800) 404-5400 nationwide for free and friendly advice. You can contact me online too by using our convenient contact us page at AutoAccident.com.
I’ve helped numerous Sacramento residents obtain the compensation they deserve for all types of car and truck accidents, pedestrian and bicycle accidents as well as with wrongful death claims.
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