Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

Southern California Personal Injury & Business Lawyers

951.813.2614 Murrieta
619.618.2979 San Diego

The importance of avoiding distracted driving

California motorists might have to become more defensive to prevent getting into accidents with distracted drivers. Traffic fatalities began to rise in 2015 after dropping for several years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving as a cause of accidents rose more quickly than drunk driving, speeding, drowsy driving, or driving without a seat belt.

One safety organization is working to educate the public about the importance of defensive driving and avoiding distracted driving. Many of these hazards are related to smartphone usage by drivers and pedestrians, so drivers should keep this in mind when they are scanning and predicting hazards. For example, a pedestrian distracted by their phone might step into a crosswalk unexpectedly, or a driver might run a red light.

After identifying the threat, the defensive driver must decide what action to take and then act accordingly. These steps require a complex series of cognitive calculations. Therefore, a driver must remain alert. Looking away from the road and at a phone, even for a moment, might result in missing a hazard and being involved in an accident.

Rear-end collisions are among the types of accidents that can happen when a driver is distracted. These accidents might result in serious injuries, and the driver's insurance company might not offer enough compensation to a person injured in the accident. Even if there is not enough evidence to file criminal charges against the distracted driver, it may be possible for the injured person to file a civil suit against the driver. In a civil suit, the burden of proof is lower, and if the case is successful, the injured person may receive compensation.

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