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Distracted driving: the risks and downsides can’t be overestimated

A sad fact that plays out with devastating consequences all too frequently on California roadways is that some drivers regard their vehicles as extensions of their homes.

That might sound outlandish, but most of us know it to be true, right? Prudent and conscientious motorists routinely negotiate road space with drivers who are intently playing with kids and pets. Some motorists tap out rhythms on gas and brake pedals while listening to music. It is far from rare to see a driver whizzing by while shaving or applying makeup. The same holds true for people who steer with their knees while using both hands to eat lunch.

And then there is of course behind-the-wheel cellphone use, which continues to be a monumental problem across the state – and certainly on major thoroughfares like California State Routes 99 and 198 crisscrossing the San Joaquin and Central valleys – despite stringent laws limiting their use.

Readers get the point. It is underscored succinctly in one legal overview of reckless roadway behavior, which simply notes that, “Distracted drivers are less safe … in a wide range of key performance areas.”

Truly, how dangerous are distracted driving behaviors?

Even motorists who well appreciate the risks posed by inattentive drivers can easily underestimate the resulting downsides tied to their negligence.

Consider the following implications, for example, which are spotlighted in a cautionary article authored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That piece makes a sober and telling point concerning a motorist who focuses for about five seconds on a text message.

“At 55 mph,” states the NHTSA, “that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”

The federal safety agency additionally highlights this data relevant to distracted driving accident/injury analysis from 2018:

  • More than 2,800 fatalities
  • Many hundreds of pedestrian deaths, coupled with scores of bicyclist fatalities

A safety campaign reminder: Put Your Phone Down. Just Drive.

California safety regulators and law enforcers point decidedly to behind-the-wheel texting as being an especially dangerous motoring behavior. The state’s Office of Traffic Safety references the above-cited Put Your Phone Down initiative in an online informational tract detailing California’s texting-while-driving law.

The law is simple: No motorist can use a cellphone that requires hands-on use, and drivers under 18 cannot use a cellphone at all.

Negligent drivers are a scourge on state streets and highways, centrally contributing to a huge number of accidents and injuries that upend the lives of innocent victims and their families.

Meaningful legal action can be taken in response to such recklessness that promotes accountability and deterrence and also strives to secure maximum compensation applicable to varied needs. An experienced personal injury legal team can provide further information.