April 2022 Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Just a few short decades ago, the notion of talking on the phone while driving was so far off in the future that it did not warrant much attention as far as automobile safety. Now, with people being so connected to their cell phones, distracted driving is a familiar term, top traffic violation, and the subject of national events. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, hosted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” campaign serves as a reminder of the dangers, and officials note that more than 3,100 people are killed in distracted driving accidents every year.
If you were hurt in a distracted driving crash, keep in mind that you have legal options under California law. An Oakland car accident lawyer can assist with the process, enabling you to focus on recovering from your injuries. Plus, you should also note how distracted driving affects a motorist and how this dangerous activity affects your remedies.
Three Impacts of Distracted Driving
When a motorist texts, talks on the phone, surfs the internet, or posts to social media while driving, there are three specific ways it affects his or her capabilities:
- Visual: It takes a few seconds to read or type a message, but doing so takes eyes off the road for long enough to cause a crash. Traveling at 55 mph, a 5-second glance away is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.
- Manual: Interacting with a phone or other devices requires a motorist to use hands and fingers, which should be on the wheel. The moment it takes to get back to steering could be too late to avoid a collision.
- Cognitive: Talking, reading, and drafting messages requires thought, and there should be only one thing on the mind of a motorist – safe operation of the vehicle.
While much of the focus regarding distracted driving is use of cell phones and other electronic devices, there are other dangerous activities in this category. The three impacts described above also affect a motorist who is eating, putting on makeup, using a GPS, or adjusting the radio.
Distracted Driving as Negligence
The basis for liability in a car accident is negligence, which requires you to prove that the at-fault motorist caused the crash by failing to exercise proper care while driving. The measurement is how a reasonably safe driver would act. Most would probably NOT engage in distracted driving behind the wheel because the risks are well-known. Therefore, evidence that the motorist was using a cell phone is effective proof to support your auto crash claim.
Get Legal Help from an Oakland Car Accident Attorney
The dangers of distracted driving are extreme, so it is a comfort to know that injured victims have rights. For more information about your options, please contact Venardi Zurada, LLP at our offices in Oakland or Walnut Creek, CA. We can set up a free case evaluation to review your situation and explain the legal process for recovering compensation.