Distracted drivers in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria are in for a surprise. Local law enforcement agencies are stepping up their efforts to catch distracted drivers and issue tickets. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, this is the Santa Maria Police Department’s first year conducting distracted driving enforcement operations, and it is Santa Barbara’s fourth year. They have received grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, so more officers can be deployed in the field to specifically crack down on distracted drivers. This means that these agencies will be able to dedicate time and manpower to the enforcement of distracted driving laws.
Distracted Driving Awareness Month Enforcement
In April, during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Santa Barbara Police Department conducted 10 enforcement operations. They issued 44 texting-while-driving citations and 213 citations for violations of hands-free cell phone use. The previous April, they cited 50 people for texting while driving and 275 people for hands-free violations.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
• In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers.
• In 2011, 3,360 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.
• Every month, 171.3 billion text messages are sent across the U.S.
• An estimated 421,000 people were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2012.
• 71 percent of teens and young adults say they have composed or sent text messages while driving.
• 78 percent of teens and young adults say they have read a text message while driving.
• Drivers in their 20’s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
After a Crash Involving a Distracted Driver
After a crash involving a distracted driver, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Even if you suspect that the other driver was distracted, but don’t have any hard evidence, contact a lawyer. It may be necessary to conduct additional investigative work to determine if a driver was distracted at the time of a wreck. If you or a loved one has been injured in a wreck involving a distracted driver, or you suspect a distracted driver is to blame, contact the experienced team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1-877-231-9970 for a free consultation today.