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California Accident Injury Trial Lawyers

Texting and Driving is Dangerous For Everyone

Smartphones and infotainment systems make it difficult to keep your focus on the road. That is why incidents of distracted driving have increased in recent years. It is also why texting and driving is one of the top causes of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, distracted driving causes more than 1.6 million car accidents every year.

Why Is Texting and Driving so Dangerous?

Texting while driving is dangerous because it combines all three types of distractions. 

  1. Visual Distraction. A visual distraction is anything that takes your eyes off the road. When you text and drive, you look at the screen to read and write the message. This takes your focus away from the road.
  2. Manual Distraction. A manual distraction is anything that removes your hands from the wheel. When you text and drive, you must use your hands to hold the phone and type the message. This can make controlling your vehicle difficult.
  3. Cognitive Distraction. A cognitive distraction is anything that takes your mind away from driving. When you text and drive, you must use your brain to compose the message and interpret the response. This can slow your response time or prevent you from recognizing driving hazards.

Just How Dangerous Is Texting and Driving?

Even though most drivers realize that texting and driving is dangerous, they continue to text and drive. So, why do they still do it? Do they believe the danger won’t affect them? Before you discount the dangers of driving while distracted, consider these facts. 

  • The NHTSA reports that 3,166 people died from distracted driving in 2017.
  • During daylight hours, more than 481,000 drivers are using cellphones while driving.
  • Answering a text distracts drivers for five seconds. When traveling at 55 miles per hour, that is enough time to travel the length of a football field.
  • Cellular phones caused 1.5 million crashes in the United States in 2017. 
  • Texting and driving crashes cause $129 billion worth of damages a year.
  • Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause a car accident than drunk driving.
  • Using a handheld cellphone while driving delays a driver’s reactions as much as driving legally intoxicated.
  • 19 percent of drivers surf the web while driving.

What to Do After a Texting and Driving Accident

After a distracted driving accident, there are steps you can take to improve the outcome of your case. These steps can help you establish liability and secure more money for your injuries. 

Immediately after the accident, call 911 to alert the police and emergency medical teams to your location. Seek medical treatment even if you do not believe you have an injury. Remain calm until the police arrive. When the police arrive, answer their questions and cooperate to the best of your ability. 

After you have called the police, write down the name and phone number of the other driver. Also, gather their license plate number, driver’s license number, and insurance information. This will be valuable when you file a claim. 

If you are able, take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to your vehicles. Consider taking these pictures from several angles so you can get a better overall view of the crash. Take pictures of any other important details that may help your case. 

Lastly, it is important to speak to an experienced and skilled San Luis Obispo car accident lawyer immediately. Your attorney can protect your future and fight for your right to maximum compensation.

Contact Our San Luis Obispo Car Accident Lawyer

Distracted driving is a danger to everyone on the road. When a distracted driver injures you or someone you love, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. At James McKiernan Lawyers, we understand that a car accident can result in a lifetime of pain and suffering. That is why we fight aggressively for all our injured clients. Our number is 888-442-2918 or fill out our confidential contact form. We offer free initial consultations to help you determine your legal options. Call today!

New California Driving Laws to Know About in 2019

State lawmakers recently passed multiple new laws that went into effect at the start of the year. Failing to follow these laws could put you and others at risk. At a minimum, you could receive a citation or even jail time. To avoid these outcomes, we encourage you to continue reading our blog to learn more about the new laws that went into effect.

New Rules for Ignition Interlock Devices in California 

SB 1046 created requirements for first-time and repeat DUI offenders. Under this new law, first-time DUI offenders must use an ignition interlock device for one to two years if they caused an accident that led to injuries. A court can also order a first-time offender to use an interlock device for six months. Two and three-time DUI offenders must also use interlock devices for a specified period of time that is dependent on the circumstances.

California has a high rate of drunk driving accidents, especially during the summer months. This new law may help make our streets safer, but it is not a guarantee that you will avoid an accident with an intoxicated driver. You should always contact an attorney after suffering injuries caused by a drunk or drugged driver.

New Rules for Dealerships and License Plates

Did you just purchase a new or used vehicle? The dealership is required by law to ensure your vehicle contains a temporary license plate before it leaves the lot. This is only if the vehicle you purchased does not already have a license plate.

Bicyclists Can Be Charged with Felony Hit-and-Runs

California lawmakers expanded the state’s felony hit-and-run law to apply to cyclists who are involved in accidents on bike paths. Cyclists must stop at the scene of the accident to ensure the other person is unharmed.

You should always exchange information after an accident, including insurance and contact information, even if you are a cyclist. There are cases where it is necessary to call emergency services or law enforcement to the scene of an accident.

DMV Test Contains Questions About Loose Cargo

Some accidents are caused by loose cargo falling from vehicles and hitting other motorists. Both commercial and passenger vehicles may fail to secure objects from falling. For this reason, lawmakers passed AB 1925, a law that requires the DMV’s driver tests to contain at least one question about loose objects, such as ladders or buckets.

Minors Can Receive Tickets for Not Wearing a Helmet

Minors can now receive tickets, specifically “fix it” tickets, for not wearing a helmet while using skateboards, skates, bikes or scooters. If a minor receives this ticket, they can take a bicycle safety class and obtain a helmet that meets state safety requirements within 120 days. Parents must pay a $25 fine if they cannot prove within 120 days that both requirements were met. The overall expenses caused by the fine can exceed $200.

Helmets reduce the risk of catastrophic and fatal head injuries. Although helmets may not always be able to prevent a concussion, there is ample evidence that cyclists who wear helmets are less likely to suffer life-altering injuries or death during a crash.

About Our San Luis Obispo Personal Injury Law Firm

James McKiernan Lawyers is a San Luis Obispo personal injury law firm with a proven record of helping accident survivors and their family members. We can help you determine if legal options are available to pursue compensation for your damages after an accident. You can schedule a free consultation with us by dialing (888)442-2918 or by using our online case review form.

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