When it comes to text messaging, most drivers feel they are capable of sending a few text messages without negatively affecting their driving ability. According to research, however, drivers are not as capable of multi-tasking as they think they are. Several studies conducted on the effects of text messaging while driving produced humbling results. Researchers discovered that texting drivers looked at the road 400 percent less than drivers who did not text message while behind the wheel of a car. Researchers also found that text-messaging drivers responded less quickly to the flash of brake lights, and had less control over proper lane changes and lane position.
The number of accidents attributed to driver distraction is steadily increasing every year. In 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 21 percent of car crashes resulting in injury and 16 percent of all fatal collisions were attributed to distracted drivers. In an effort to reduce preventable car accident-related injuries and deaths, the state banned all drivers from text messaging while operating a motor vehicle in 2008. California Vehicle Code § 23123.5 (a) states, “ A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends all drivers communicate to family members and friends the importance of distracted free driving. Parents should review cell phone use laws with teen drivers and make it clear that cell phones are not to be used while driving. Also, drivers must remember to set good examples for their children. If you need to text or talk, pull over safely to the side of the road. As the FCC says, “On the road, off the phone.”
Car accidents caused by distracted drivers often result in severe injuries. Serious injuries can have severe physical, emotional and financial effects on victims and their families. Catastrophic spinal cord injuries, head injuries, burn injuries, amputation injuries and bone fracture injuries are just a few of the types of injuries that may prevent a victim from returning to their previous way of life.
If you would like more information on the dangers of texting while driving or information on the laws pertaining to texting while driving, please visit the Federal Communications Commission and the California Department of Motor Vehicles websites. For information regarding your legal rights in a personal injury claim, contact a Carlsbad car accidents attorney as soon as possible.