Texting and Driving: Illegal and Dangerous
I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara car accident lawyer. I’ve seen many accidents caused by distracted driving, and one of the most common causes is texting. While having constant communication with work and family may seem like a good thing, doing it on the road can be a surefire way to suffer life-threatening injuries in many cases.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Overall, distracted driving is doing something that takes your attention from the road. Generally, this involves drinking or eating, putting on makeup, playing with the radio, talking to others in the vehicle or on the phone or texting.
In 2015 alone, 3,477 individuals died, and another 391,000 were hurt due to distracted drivers. That boils down to approximately eight deaths and 1,161 injuries daily, according to the Federal Communications Commission. On top of that, about 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices at any given time when they drive. Over 34 percent of teen drivers say they have texted and driven at the same time.
Why Is Texting so Dangerous?
Texting takes time away from the road. In order to read or send a text, the average driver takes five seconds. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if you are going 55 mph, that would be equivalent to driving across a football field while keeping your eyes shut.
Driving and texting uses all types of driving distractions, including:
- Manual Distraction: You need to take your hands off the wheel when texting.
- Visual Distraction: In order to read the screen and type a message in return, you need to take your eyes off the road.
- Cognitive Distraction: In order to drive safely, you need to think about what you are doing. Texting takes your mind in another direction far from concentrating on the road.
The Illegality of Driving and Texting
California has a law in place that makes it illegal to text and drive. The version that came into effect in 2017 makes it illegal to swipe a cell phone for any reason while driving.
Injuries Caused by Texting and Driving
Serious injuries can result from an accident caused by distracted driving. Since texting commonly results in a head-on collision, brain injury is one possibility. Leaving the lane and causing a head-on collision can result in the wrongful death of another individual. If you are texting and another person dies a result of that, it is possible that you will be charged with manslaughter in California.
How to Stop Texting and Driving
Young drivers are among the highest number of those that text while driving. In order to teach younger drivers to not text and drive, NHTSA advises that parents make every effort to teach by example. In fact, they urge families to sign a pledge not to engage in this dangerous activity. Employers can help too by having speakers in the workplace stress the importance of not being distracted on the road.
Santa Barbara Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, an experienced Santa Barbara car accident lawyer. If you or a member of your family has suffered an injury due to a negligent motorist, please call to speak to me at (805) 372-0200. My toll-free number is (800) 404-5400. My advice is free and friendly to help you in your time of trouble. If you decide to choose my firm to represent you, there is no cost until your case is settled successfully.
I have served the people of California, including Santa Barbara and the surrounding area, for 35 years. It is my honor as an injury lawyer to help recover fair compensation for those who have experienced traumatic injuries or to assist the families of those who have lost their loved one to a wrongful death.
My name can be found under the California listings for the Million Dollar Forum. This group represents members of the top 1 percent of trial lawyers who are credited with $1 million or higher in settlements/verdicts for former clients.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/driving-cellular-by-typing-sms-844132/
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