LONG BEACH, Calif., Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Car accident fatalities in California have continued to rise since 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA"). Traffic officials are not completely clear as to the cause of the rise of fatalities, but they believe it may be linked to the improvement of the economy. As the economy continues to get better, more people are able to find work. This leads to more people driving on the road since they need to travel to their jobs. The increase in drivers has led to an abundance of distracted driving. Distracted drivers have contributed to the steady increase in car accident fatalities.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety ("OTS"), distracted driving occurs when you take your mind off the road or your hands off the wheel. The biggest cause of distracted driving is using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. According to the OTS, each text message takes your eyes off the road for five seconds, which is the length of a football field travelling at 55 MPH. Moreover, the OTS states that the reaction time for an accident is roughly 2 seconds.
It is known that 10-20% of car accidents in California are related to the use of cell phones. More than 1/3 of drivers reported to read a text or email from their phone while operating their motor vehicle according to the GHSA. Moreover, over ¼ of drivers reported to send a text or email from their phone while behind the wheel.
Using your phone while driving is reckless driving. Reckless driving can lead to civil and criminal trouble. If you drive a vehicle in a reckless manner, you can be held liable for punitive damages, which can multiply the value of the civil car accident lawsuit by several times according to State Farm v. Campbell.
With an improving economy and more drivers on the road, drivers need to drop the phone and pay attention to the road. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident, feel free to call us for a free consultation. You can get more information regarding your rights after a car accident at BelalHamidehLaw.com.
SOURCE Belal Hamideh