The Dangers of Distracted Driving in Southern California

It’s no secret that distracted driving has become a dangerous epidemic in California and across the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publicizes a variety of anti-texting, anti-distracted driving campaigns throughout the year, but people are still texting behind the wheel.

Distracted Driving in Various Forms

Distracted driving comes in a variety of forms. Sure, everybody knows that texting and checking Facebook behind the wheel counts as distracted driving, but what are other types of distracted driving?

The Many Different Forms of Distracted Driving

• Checking email or social media
• Talking to passengers
• Doing hair, makeup or other grooming behaviors
• Watching a video
• Adjusting the radio
• Using a GPS or navigation system
• Eating and drinking
• Day dreaming
• Reading maps or other items
• Using a smart phone in any capacity

How do you Know if it’s a Distraction?

If you’re not sure if a behavior counts as a distraction behind the wheel, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. A variety of behaviors can be classified as one or more of the following types of distraction; manual, cognitive or visual. Just about any behavior that takes your hands, mind or eyes off the task of driving is considered a distraction. If you can answer yes to one or more of the following three questions, you’re distracted driving.

1. Does it take one or both hands off the wheel?
2. Does it take your eyes off the road, even for a split second?
3. Does it take your mind off the task of driving?

The Human Toll of Distracted Driving

In 2012, an estimated 421,000 people were injured and 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver. According to the NHTSA, at any given daylight moment across the U.S., approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices behind the wheel. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a distracted driver, contact the experienced team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. for a free case consultation. In some cases, it may take additional investigation to determine if distracted driving was a factor in an accident, so it’s critical to speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case.

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