Distraction puts everyone on the road at serious risk

Most people understand that distracted driving is dangerous. However, like with drunk driving, far too many people overestimate their driving abilities and underestimate how distraction will impact their control of the vehicle. The end result is a large number of people choosing to drive while also distracted, a decision that puts everyone on the road at risk of a crash or collision.

California has taken some steps to reduce distracted driving, such as making it illegal to hold a phone in your hand while driving. However, people can still use hands-free devices legally. Additionally, many people will attempt to covertly break the law by holding the phone in their laps while at the wheel. Of course, texting and social media are far from the only distractions drivers face.

Non-smartphone distractions are also a major issue

California law does not specifically prohibit other common forms of distraction, but that doesn't make them any less dangerous. Eating while driving, applying makeup, adjusting your clothing, changing radio stations or even changing the climate control settings can all take your eyes and your mind off the road. Even if they are not illegal, they are still dangerous.

Pets in the vehicle can also be a distraction, especially if a dog is sitting in the driver's lap. A sudden reaction could bump the steering wheel and distract the driver at the same time, creating a truly unpredictable situation. Even conversations with other passengers could distract to the point of danger in a moving vehicle.

Distracted drivers cause a lot of dangerous crashes

There is no exact figure on distracted driving because many people deny making the bad decisions that cause a crash. However, every year, thousands of people die and hundreds of thousands of people suffer debilitating injuries as the result of distracted driving.

You should always put down your phone and focus on the road when you drive. Sadly, you could still experience a collision with someone else who is distracted. If that happens, you need to be ready to push back by holding that person responsible for the damages and losses he or she causes.

Make sure to share concerns about distraction when you report the crash

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself in the wake of a potentially distraction-related crash is to speak up. Law enforcement may not realize on their own that distraction played a part. If you inform them of your suspicions, there may be traffic camera footage or cellphone records that verify distraction played a part.

An accurate police report is important to you in the wake of an accident. It helps to ensure you receive the insurance benefits you deserve. It can also help if you need to pursue additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent, distracted driver.

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