Texting and Driving Accidents
An average of 3,000 people die in crashes involving a distracted driver every year. Distracted driving killed 3,142 people in 2019, up from 2,800+ deaths in 2018. About 1 in 5 people who died in accidents in 2018 were pedestrians. As you can see, it claims the lives of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike.
Distracted driving refers to any activity that takes your attention away from driving, which can include texting, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, changing the radio, inputting an address in your GPS, and more. These activities may seem normal to you, but the bottom line is that distracted driving can increase your chances of getting into an accident, which could be deadly according to the data above. Don’t become another statistic!
What Happens If You Get into an Accident Caused by Texting and Driving?
As you can see, texting and driving is common yet fatal. It’s no wonder that texting and driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. That being said, you should be sure to take the proper steps following your collision to maximize your chances of getting high monetary compensation for your pain and suffering.
Your car accident could very likely disorient you. Take a moment to breathe, get to a safe area, and collect yourself. Once you have done these things, we encourage you to take the following steps:
- Call 911: It’s important to call the police because they will come to the scene, document the incident, and file a police report. Your insurer will ask for a copy of the police report when you file a claim.
- Get medical help: If you are injured, you should immediately get medical help.
- Gather contact and insurance details: If you and your passengers do not need emergency medical help, begin exchanging information. Speak to the driver whom you believed caused the accident as well as other drivers involved and witnesses of the car accident. Be sure to gather these parties’ contact details, insurance company names and policy numbers, driver’s license and plate numbers, and information about the type, color, and model of their vehicles.
- Record the accident scene: It is important to gather as much evidence and information as possible to use for your claim. Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including license plates, your injuries, street signs, the vehicles involved, roads and pavements, the surrounding buildings, and traffic lights, among other things you think would be relevant to your claim.
- Report your accident: To better your chances of getting maximum compensation for your car accident, you should report your accident to law enforcement, the California DMV, and your insurance company. Be sure to file these reports before the specified deadlines.
- Hire an attorney: You will need a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the claims process, work with the insurance companies, and champion your rights and best interests every step of the way.You want an experienced advocate who will fight tirelessly for what you deserve and won’t settle for less than what’s fair. As such, you should contact our firm at (818) 477-1905 if you’ve been involved in an accident. You are not alone!
Am I Liable for Texting a Driver in California?
Some states like New Jersey have held drivers responsible for texting a driver who gets into an accident as a result of their distracted driving. In California, however, you will generally not be held responsible for texting or calling a driver who gets into an accident as a result of reading your text or answering your call.
As a safety measure, if you know someone is driving, try to avoid texting or calling them. It could save lives.
Types of Distractions on the Road
Distractions can come from anything at any time and anywhere. You could be dropping your kids off at school and get distracted by their screaming and crying. You could be driving to work and feel stressed about giving a presentation to your boss. You could be engaged in a deep conversation with your relatives who you just picked up from the airport. Whatever the distractions may be, know that they can be dangerous. However, texting and driving remains the most common and most risky form of distracted driving.
The CDC categorizes 3 main types of distractions below:
Visual: Taking your eyes off the road.
- Texting and driving
- Eating while driving
- Searching for controls on your car (i.e., temperature, volume, windshield wipers)
- Looking for lost items on the floor
Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
- Self-grooming while driving (i.e., brushing your hair or doing your makeup)
- Grabbing an item from the backseat while driving
- Texting and driving
- Changing the station on the radio
Cognitive: Taking your mind off driving
- Falling asleep or feeling stressed
- Talking on the phone
- Talking to other passengers
- Using voice-activated technology (i.e., Siri or Alexa)
Staying mindful of these types of distractions could better help you catch yourself “slipping” and minimize the risks accordingly.
How Common Is Distracted Driving?
Young adults and teen drivers are at the highest risk of distracted driving, according to the CDC. The distracted driving statistics below will show you just how widespread — and dangerous — distracted driving can be in the US.
- 25% of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes were young adults aged 20–29.
- Drivers aged 15-19 were more likely to be distracted than drivers aged 20 and older, among drivers in crashes where someone died. Among these drivers, 8% of drivers aged 15 to 19 were distracted at the time of the crash.
- 9% of all teens who died in motor vehicle crashes were killed in crashes that involved distracted driving.
- A study analyzing data from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey revealed the following:
- In 2019, 39% of high school students who drove in the past 30 days texted or emailed while driving on at least one of those days.
- Texting or emailing while driving was more common among older students than younger students.
- Texting or emailing while driving was as common among students whose grades were mostly As or Bs as students with mostly Cs, Ds, or Fs.
- Students who texted or emailed while driving were also more likely to report other transportation risk behaviors, including not wearing a seat belt, riding with an intoxicated driver, and driving under the influence.
Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving
Although distracted driving is more common among teens and young adults, the fact is that anyone can engage in these risky driving behaviors and suffer devastating consequences as a result. Distracted driving is dangerous driving, therefore, we encourage you to consider the following tips to help prevent distracted driving:
Tips for Drivers
- Do not multitask while driving. Be sure to handle any tasks that may arise while driving before or after the trip, not during.
- Use your cellphone for emergencies only.
- If you need to do something, be sure to pull over in a safe area to handle it.
- Try to limit the number of passengers in your car.
- Avoid eating while driving.
- Turn off your phone if you find it difficult to stay away from it.
- Secure loose items before hitting the road.
Tips for Passengers
- Assist the driver with navigation or changing the music.
- Speak up if the driver is distracted and minimize those distractions if you can.
- Avoid loud and rowdy activity to help the driver focus.
Tips for Parents of Young Drivers
- Establish the rules and responsibilities of driving.
- Share statistics about teen driving to show them how serious it is.
- Get familiar with California’s laws on distracted driving.
- Explain the consequences of distracted driving to your teen.
- Set consequences for distracted driving.
- Be a good example of what safe driving looks like.
Injured? Give Us a Call at (818) 477-1905 Today!
If you were injured in a car accident, our team may be able to help. Our goal is to hold the responsible party accountable for their wrongdoings by working to achieve maximum compensation to help you get back on your feet. You don’t deserve to suffer — get legal help today!
To speak with us about your situation and learn about your solutions, get in touch with Frish Law Group, APLC online or at (818) 477-1905!