Distracted Driving and Vehicle Automation
I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton personal injury lawyer. New research has found a correlation between distracted driving and vehicle automation. The study revealed that when vehicle automation usage, particularly cruise control, cell phone use increases as well. Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology released results concluding that when cruise control is on, drivers were more likely to use their mobile devices for apps, e-mails or text more than 10 percent of the time.
Any task that diverts the attention of an individual away from driving is considered a distraction. These distractions may include eating while driving, talking on a cell phone, adjusting the stereo, using a navigation system or sending a text message. In California, a ticket specifically for texting or talking on your cell phone can cost you $161.
How to Avoid Texting and Driving
As drivers, we should all understand that driving while distracted is dangerous. There is nothing so important that is worth risking your life and the lives of others on the road. Some sound ways you can ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers from distracted driving include:
- Turning your cell phone on “silent”;
- Completely shutting off your cell phone;
- Putting your cell phone out of reach (i.e. the center console, glove box or trunk);
- Downloading an app that prohibits you from texting and driving, like SafeDrive and Drive Safe Mode, both apps which are recommended by Verizon Wireless.
Distracting Driving Statistics
- Approximately 3,450 individuals lost their lives in distracted driving accidents in 2016. This accounted for about 9.2 percent of the total deaths reported that same year (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration);
- Between the years of 2007 to 2015, nearly sixty percent of traffic accidents involved some type of distracted behavior in the six seconds leading up to a collision (according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety);
- Of the 2,443,000 total traffic accident injuries reported in 2015, approximately sixteen percent (391,000) were attributed to distracted driving (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention);
- Younger drivers were found more likely to text while driving and to talk on cell phones in comparison to older drivers. In a 2016 study, cell phone use was found most predominant among drivers ages twenty-one to twenty-nine followed by drivers sixteen to twenty years of age (according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).
Common Injuries in Distracted Driving Accidents
The types of injuries sustained in a distracted driving accident can vary from the area of impact, speed traveled by both vehicles and other factors. Some of the more serious injuries that may arise following these accidents are as follows:
- Bone fractures are common in the arm, hand, hip, leg or pelvis. Oftentimes, fracture reduction is required followed by casting and therapy to return strength, flexibility, and motion to the injured limb;
- Brain and head injuries can range from a concussion to a traumatic brain injury. While some wounds to the brain and head can be treated successfully, they can be capable of causing permanent disability or even death;
- Spinal Cord Damage like vertebral fractures and slipped or herniated discs may cause extensive physical pain requiring surgery to improve mobility. Loss of sensation and function, such as paralysis, can leave an individual with a permanent disability;
- Internal Trauma, like abdominal injuries, may be caused by airbag deployment or safety restraints due to the impact of a collision. While some abdominal injuries may be noticed promptly following an accident, such as internal organ damage, others may present themselves immediately like internal bleeding;
- Loss of life (in some extreme cases).
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Getting into a car accident can be an extremely painful and frightening experience. When faced with damages such as medical costs, time lost from work and emotional trauma, it is important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Stockton. A skilled attorney can make the difference in explaining what rights you have, investigate further into the facts and evidence of the accident, and communicate effectively with insurance companies to reach a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Stockton Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton personal injury lawyer. Being struck by a distracted driver can result in devastating injuries. If this has happened to you or a loved one, I am here to provide you with free, friendly advice. Contact me any time at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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