You read that correctly; certain driving behaviors can actually increase your chances of being in a collision by four hundred percent. According to the California Highway Patrol, distracted driving behaviors--particularly the use of a cell phone--increases your chance of being in a car accident by 400 percent, and makes it 23 times more likely for you to be at risk for collision. Those are pretty astonishing statistics, but the fact that so many drivers continue to text and talk on their phones while driving sadly implies such driving behaviors are not taken very seriously.
Dangerous Driving Behaviors that Put You and Others in Harm’s Way
Sending one single text requires the average person 4.6 seconds of their time, and driving at 65 miles per hour and texting for a mere three seconds is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field completely blindfolded. Although using your cell phone in any way, shape, or form while behind the wheel is the most dangerous and the most commonly talked about distracted driving habit, other behaviors such as eating, interacting with other passengers, and fidgeting with the radio put you at serious risk for accident and injury as well.
Even simple things such as looking at a map or sightseeing while operating your vehicle can pull your eyes from the highway during those critical moments when you need to be focused on the road and the road alone. Along with these dangerous activities, tending to children, and programming GPS devices while behind the wheel are just as treacherous. It is important to note that hands-free does not always translate to safety. Using hands-free devices still requires the brain to multitask and significantly impairs the brain’s ability to recognize driving cues and potential hazards. Every second counts; your life and the lives of others depend on your attentiveness.
Other Ways You Pay
If the risk of collision is not enough to encourage drivers to be more alert and attentive behind the wheel, the California Highway Patrol reminds drivers that there are many other consequences that stem from distracted driving behaviors. For example, California law only allows drivers to use cell phones behind the wheel to make emergency calls to law enforcement, medical providers, or the fire department. There are no other exceptions. If you break this law, you are looking at a $162 minimum fine, not to mention a possible increase in your car insurance rate. For every subsequent violation, you can expect higher fines and higher insurance rates.
If you are involved in a car accident caused by some form of distracted driving, make it a priority to contact a knowledgeable Santa Clara County personal injury attorney to ensure your rights are protected and that your case is properly represented in a court of law. Call the Law Office of John J. Garvey, III at 408-293-7777 for a free consultation today.
While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with the attorney, please call at 408-293-7777 or complete the intake form below.