What is Distracted Driving?
As a motorist, you may have heard about distracted driving, but what exactly does it entail? Distracted driving is driving while performing any activity that takes your eyes of the road. Texting and cell phone use are activities most often associated with distracted driving, but other activities fall under this category as well, such as eating, drinking, talking to passengers, applying makeup, brushing your hair, changing the radio station and using a map.
Distracted driving is common, but very dangerous and leads to countless car accidents each year on California roadways. It is also against the law. Under California law, it is illegal for motorists to use handheld cell phones while driving. Hands-free phones can be used by drivers age 18 and older. Those under age 18 are banned from using any electronic device while driving. This includes laptops and tablets. The only exception is to make a phone call in an emergency situation.
While eating or grooming yourself while driving is not technically illegal, you can receive a citation if these actions cause you to drive in a reckless manner.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Distracted driving is considered a serious issue in California, according to residents. A survey showed that 44 percent of Californians found texting to be a serious distraction for drivers. More than half of California drivers claim they have almost been involved in an accident with someone who was driving while distracted. In addition, close to 40 percent of drivers admitted that they made a mistake while driving and talking on a phone.
In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in the United States due to distracted driving.Distracted driving causes a car crash every 24 seconds. This amounts to 15 deaths and 1,200 injuries per day. Drivers using a phone are four times more likely to crash, while a person who drives while texting is 23 times more likely to crash.
Age of Distracted Drivers
While teens are associated with texting while driving, the largest percentage of those killed in a car accident while distracted driving is actually those in the 20-29 age range, at 27 percent. Twelve percent of drivers under age 20 were distracted at the time of a fatal crash. Of those ages 30-39, 17 percent were distracted. Of those ages 40-49, 16 percent were distracted. Thirteen percent of those ages 50-59 were distracted. of those ages 60-69, 7 percent were distracted. That number increased slightly to 8 percent for those over age 70.
The car accident lawyers of Nadrich & Cohen speak with injured drivers every day who have been hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver. We encourage everyone to keep their eyes on the road, eliminate distractions while driving and stay safe.