April is National Distracted Driving Month. Many individuals and groups took time that month to focus on the dangers that distracted drivers pose to themselves and others by educating drivers through social media campaigns, public service announcements, and targeted discussions. Beyond April, it is important that we continue to discuss the dangers of distracted driving because it is an issue that occurs throughout the year, by drivers everywhere.
Distracted drivers can cause car accidents that result in serious injuries and even death to other drivers, their passengers, pedestrians, and the distracted drivers themselves. As a motorist, it is important that you choose not to drive distracted and that you impress upon your children and other loved ones the importance of always focusing on the road while driving. Choosing not to drive distracted can reduce your chance of being involved in an accident, but it cannot eliminate it completely. You can still be involved in a collision as a result of another driver’s decision to drive distracted. If this happens, speak with an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer about seeking compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim.
California Car Accident Statistics
California is a large state with a big population. We are also known for our car-centric culture and in our metropolitan areas, significant traffic backup. Most of us drive cars every day, which puts us at risk of being involved in car accidents on a daily basis.
California car accident statistics from 2010 include the following:
- 599 pedestrians were killed in collisions with cars that year;
- 2,500 traffic fatalities occurred in the state; and
- 2,715 people died in car accidents.
These accidents were caused by a variety of factors, including distracted driving. Other factors that contributed to the car accidents listed above include drunk driving, disregard for posted traffic signals like traffic lights and stop signs, vehicle malfunctions, and poorly-maintained roadways.
Protecting Yourself on California Roads
You can protect yourself and others on the road by choosing not to drive distracted. Put your cell phone in your glove compartment, in your purse, on the passenger seat, or anywhere else in the car where you know you will not reach for it should it go off while you are driving. If you need to talk on the phone while driving, do so using a hands-free headset or Bluetooth technology. Otherwise, call your loved ones back once you reach your destination or pull off the road to answer calls and text messages.
Although many think of cell phone usage when they think of distracted driving, there are other distractions drivers face as well. Eating, drinking, grooming, and interactions with others in the car can put you at risk of being involved in an accident. Eat before you get on the road and if you stop for food or a beverage, consume it inside the retailer or while parked outside. Likewise, do your makeup and any other parts of your grooming routine before you leave home, rather than behind the wheel of your vehicle. Finally, never let an interaction with another individual in your car become heated to the point that it interferes with your ability to drive safely. If you must, pull off the roadway to have your conversation or tell your passenger that you will speak more in depth with him or her once you reach your destination.
One last issue to keep in mind is this: distractions outside your car can be as dangerous as distractions inside your car. Although it is human nature to stare at a car accident as you drive past it, looking at an accident rather than the road in front of you is a good way to end up in an accident yourself. Keep up with the pace of the traffic as it moves past the accident and focus on getting yourself to your destination safely.
Speak with an Experienced San Diego Car Accident Attorney
You can reduce your chance of being injured in a car accident, but you cannot eliminate it completely. If you are injured in an accident because of another driver’s choice to drive distracted, speak with one of the experienced San Diego car accident attorneys at Martinez & Schill LLP to determine the next steps you should take toward recovering financially through a personal injury claim. Our team of experienced California personal injury attorneys can answer your questions and help you seek the money you deserve. Call 619-512-5995 to schedule an initial free consultation today.