Law Offices of Patricia Turnage
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How big of a problem is distracted driving?

Distracted driving is a major problem here in California and elsewhere in the United States. Many changes in the law in recent years have made it illegal for motorists to talk on the phone, text and surf the internet while driving. Drivers engage in these activities nonetheless in hopes that they won’t get caught. Sadly, it’s these types of behaviors that often cause crashes.

The word “distractions,” should be used broadly. Anything that takes your focus off the road or hands off the wheel of your car can be considered a distraction. This includes maps, food and your phone.

You put yourself and others at a significant risk of getting hurt or killed if you lose focus while driving or cease to exert control over your car.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that some 1,060 individuals are injured each day as a result of being struck by a distracted driver. At least nine people are killed.

Data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the majority of motorists who engage in distracted driving are those under the age of 20. CDC data shows that at least half of the high schoolers have admitted to texting or emailing while driving.

Truckers are professional drivers. They spend significant time in the classroom, undergo medical exams and drive alongside more experienced operators for a while before they are allowed to qualify for a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Many of us might assume that this means that they are saferdrivers. Surprisingly, they are not.

While truckers are required to perform various inspections and to log many details regarding their travels, policies in place that would minimize the risk of a trucker getting behind the wheel fatigued, intoxicated or distracted are lacking. Technology companies are working on such programs to detect these distractions.

Distractions can cause motorists to drive faster or slower than the speed limit, and they may lead a motorist to not see construction zones, pedestrians and other hazards. This is often why people often get struck and seriously injured or killed. If you or a loved one have had your life forever altered due to a trucker’s negligence then an attorney can advise you of your right to recover compensation for your losses under California law.  This includes wage loss, medical treatment costs, emotional distress and pain and suffering.  An attorney can help you recover these damages, which for most are large due to the severity of injury(ies).