San Diego Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
Injured by a Distracted Driver? You Have Rights.
Was it a phone call or a text message that the other driver felt was more important than your safety? If you were seriously injured or a family member was killed by someone who just couldn't stay off the phone while driving, you have every right to be upset.
A simple choice made by another driver may have completely changed your life.
The driver who hit you made a choice; now it's your turn. The San Diego distracted driving accident attorneys at The McClellan Law Firm can help you regain control and recover compensation for your injuries and financial losses. Call us at (619) 215-1488.
Distracted Driving Laws in California
What is distracted driving? A simple definition would be anything that takes a driver's attention off the road. Safety experts recognize three major types of distraction:
- Manual – Distraction that takes a driver's hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive – Distraction that takes a driver's mind off the situation at hand.
- Visual – Distraction that takes a driver's eyes off the road.
In California, there are four statewide laws in place to combat distracted driving:
- A ban on handheld cellphone use for all drivers
- A ban on handheld and hands-free cellphone use for bus drivers
- A ban on handheld and hands-free cellphone use for novice drivers (under 18)
- A ban on texting while driving for all drivers
California is 1 of 43 total states to institute a statewide ban on texting while driving for all drivers. In most cities, a texting while driving ticket is $159, a steep fine to discourage distracted driving. Unfortunately, cellphone use isn't the only type of distraction.
Distraction laws can be tough to enforce, and there are no laws against things like using GPS navigation systems, changing the radio station, or eating while driving.
Proving Fault for a Distracted Driving Accident
If you suspect that the other driver was using their cellphone at the time of the collision, this is information you should share with law enforcement and your attorney.
When you work with The McClellan Law Firm, we will request to see the other driver’s cellphone records to determine whether or not they were using their phone.
Even if they were legally using a hands-free device, this may still be a factor in determining liability. We can also speak to witnesses to see if they can substantiate your claim that the other driver was texting while driving. Our firm has been representing accident victims for more than two decades, and we have won 140+ verdicts and settlements worth $1 million each. You can trust we know what it takes to recover just compensation.
Distracted Driving Statistics & Facts
McGill University researchers analyzed U.S. traffic crash reports and determined that as much as 25% of auto accidents in America are caused by drivers who talk on their phones while behind the wheel. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, an overwhelming 80% of vehicle crashes involve some sort of driver inattention.
Consider these other shocking statistics:
- In 2012, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.
- The same year, more than 421,000 people were injured in distraction crashes.
- 16% of distracted driving crashes are caused by drivers under the age of 20.
- In 2009, 20% of distracted driving car accidents involved serious injuries.
- In 2009, 16% of distracted driving car accidents resulted in fatalities.
- At any point in time, about 660,000 drivers on U.S. roads are driving distracted.
- Sending or reading a text message increases the risk of being in a car accident by 23 times.
In the time it takes for the average driver to send a text message, a car can travel the length of a football field at 55 mph. Research shows that drivers are not very good at this kind of multitasking, and often experience a 50 percent reduction in accuracy.
While texting and driving is a criminal offense, it also figures into civil cases to show that one driver is responsible for an accident. If a victim can show that the other driver was using a phone at the time of a crash, it is often easier to recover compensation.
Because driver distraction is such a common cause of preventable car accidents, researchers believe that more needs to be done about educating drivers.
Pedestrian & Bicyclist Deaths on the Rise
A recent study analyzed what it called the public health threat of distracted driving to a rise in pedestrian deaths. The increase in pedestrian deaths is dramatic. From 2005 to 2010, the number of pedestrians who were killed by distracted drivers rose by 50%.
Many of those distracted drivers were using cell phones to talk, text, or access the Internet. The study may not even capture the full scope of the problem, as distracted driving is not always easily identified as the cause of a deadly motor vehicle accident.
The data used for the study came from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which attributed 344 pedestrian deaths to distracted drivers in 2005. In 2010, that number had risen to 500. Bicyclist deaths attributed to distracted drivers rose from 56 to 73.
The Dangers of Driving with Unsecured Pets
An increasing number of drivers travel with pets to the grocery store, to visit a friend, or on a long trip, but few restrain their pets, allowing them to become a distraction.
Pets that are allowed to roam around inside a moving car can lead to an auto accident. Drivers with unrestrained pets may take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to pet, play with, or feed their dogs; a distracted driver is a dangerous driver.
Other problems with unsecured pets include the following:
- Pets riding in a driver's lap can interfere with visibility or affect a driver's ability to react
- Small dogs or cats can work their way under a brake pedal
- Unsecured pets can bump the car's gear shift and throw a driver into neutral
Call The McClellan Law Firm for a Free Review
At The McClellan Law Firm, we want to do our part by raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, but when these accidents do happen, we are here to help.
If this describes something that happened to you or a loved one, contact our distracted driving car accident lawyers in San Diego. You won't pay unless we win your case and initial consultations are free of charge. Give us a call at (619) 215-1488 to learn more.