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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.

According to NHTSA and

  • In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.
  • Between 2014 and 2018, 13% of distracted driving accidents involved a cell phone.
  • On a typical day in the U.S., distracted driving is a factor in over 700 injury crashes.
  • It’s impossible to multitask and give equal attention to each task; distracted drivers can miss up to half of what’s in their driving environment due to inattention blindness.
  • Simply listening to a phone conversation can decrease brain activity by more than one-third and cause safety performance issues like slowed reaction time.

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.

  • Endorced by the Inner Circle of Advocates

    Craig McClellan is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only group of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States.

  • Best Lawyers in America 2020

    Craig McClellan has been selected to the list of The Best Lawyers in America every year since 1993.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Personal Injury in the 2023 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • Best Lawers "Best Law Firms" - Personal Injury Litigation Plaintifs Tier 1, 2016

    The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Personal Injury in the 2022 list of the Best Law Firms.

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    The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Product Liability in the 2022 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • Craig McClellan earned one of the top 10 medical malpractice settlements in California, securing a $9,000,000 settlement for a client.

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    Craig McClellan & Conor Hulburt earned one of the top 10 premises liability settlements in California, securing a $3,175,850 settlement for a client.

  • Craig McClellan selected to Super Lawyers list, Top 10 San Diego Attorneys

    Craig McClellan has been selected to the list of Super Lawyers every year since 2007, and earned the most votes of ANY lawyer for 2019 in San Diego.

  • Craig McClellan was voted Lawyer of the Year for Product Liability Litigation by Best Lawyers for 2019.

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    Attorney McClellan earned a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubbell for his achievements.

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    Craig McClellan is listed as one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators in Business Litigation, Personal Injury, and Product Liability.

  • Craig McClellan is rated 10.0 on Avvo - Top rated Personal Injury Lawyer

    Attorney McClellan has a 10/10 “Superb” rating, the highest rating an attorney can receive from Avvo.

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    The firm has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the highest possible rating offered by the organization.

  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego

    Attorney McClellan is a member of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, and previously served on its Board of Directors.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named as one of the “Best Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Times.

    Attorney Craig McClellan was named as one of the “Best Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Times.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan named “Best Lawyers” by San Diego Metro.

    Attorney Craig McClellan was named one of the “Best Lawyers” by San Diego Metro.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan named Top Lawyers in San Diego in Business Litigation by San Diego Magazine.

    Attorney Craig McClellan was named one of the Top Lawyers in San Diego in Business Litigation by San Diego Magazine.

  • Craig McClellan has been named among the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers, which honors the nation’s top advocates.

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