Orange County Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
Most people in the U.S. have smartphones, and distracted driving has become a real threat on the roadways. The number of people who talk on handheld phones, whether for work or personal reasons, have increased to 3.2% in 2018, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), putting more pedestrians and drivers at risk of a serious accident. In addition, the NHTSA has found that 9.7% of all drivers in the United States have used a phone – either handheld or hands-free – while operating a vehicle. This means an estimated 472,486 drivers of passenger vehicles have held cell phones to their ears while driving in any typical daylight moment.
This very real threat can result in serious property damage, catastrophic injuries, and tragic deaths that were entirely avoidable. Victims of this reckless behavior deserve proper compensation. At Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, our Orange County car accident attorneys have over 40 years of collective experience assisting distracted driving victims in moving on after an accident. Call us at (949) 752-7474 to receive thorough and invaluable legal advice.
Every day in the U.S., approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in automobile accidents involving distracted drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Distracted driving is a dangerous activity that claimed a staggering 3,166 lives in a single recent year, as reported by the NHTSA. Distracted driving can be defined as any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from operating the motor vehicle. This includes:
- Talking on the phone
- Checking emails
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Grooming or applying makeup
- Adjusting in-vehicle systems
- Using a navigation system
The most egregious of these actions involve the use of a cell phone, which is only going to increase as our world becomes more and more digitally connected. Safety measures to curb cell phone use while driving, such as hands-free software and Bluetooth connectivity in newer cars, may be important updates in the battle against distracted driving, but it has yet to completely eliminate the threat.
California law requires that drivers only use hands-free devices to interact with a phone if they are 18-years or older. This may include speaker phones, Bluetooth headsets, or voice activated software. However, the driver is expressly forbidden from holding a cell phone in his or her hand while operating a motor vehicle. In addition, any driver under age 18 is forbidden from using a cell phone while driving, whether or not they are using hands-free equipment or software.
The number one cause of motor vehicle accidents is driver error, and distracted driving is among the most common and dangerous errors. Drivers who are texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise distracted cause a wide range of traffic crashes, including:
- Rear-end collisions: Rear-impact car accidents often occur in heavy traffic when the driver behind is following too closely and/or not paying attention. This can easily occur when the driver is focused on using a cell phone or engaged in another type of distraction.
- T-bone accidents: Many side-impact collisions occur when a driver runs a red light or stop sign. This type of crash is also common when a left-turning driver fails to yield the right-of-way to an oncoming car or motorcycle. T-bone collisions are more likely to occur when drivers are distracted.
- Head-on collisions: Frontal or head-on collisions can cause serious, catastrophic, or fatal injuries. They can occur when distracted drivers take a turn too wide or enter traffic traveling in the wrong direction on a one-way street.
- Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians are completely unprotected and vulnerable to serious injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle. They can be hit by distracted drivers who fail to notice pedestrians in crosswalks, parking lots, and side streets.
The signs of a distracted driving accident may be overlooked if you do not think to investigate. Data from the at-fault driver’s phone, including call and texting records, social media activity, and background data, may be pivotal in proving the driver was liable. The best chance at acquiring this information and utilizing it in a personal injury claim is with the aid of a knowledgeable car accident attorney.
Our Orange County personal injury lawyers at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie have the necessary expertise and familiarity with distracted driving cases to properly review every aspect of your case. We have won hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive proper compensation. Call us at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free, initial consultation of your accident.
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