Driving can seem like second nature to many Californians who have been doing it every day for years. Unfortunately, familiarity with Riverside, CA streets and routes can lead to complacency. Some drivers do not appreciate the real dangers presented by distracted driving.
Drivers should understand how these auto accidents happen to avoid the behaviors most often responsible for distracted driving accidents in Riverside. If you or a loved one recently experienced an auto accident that you believe happened due to another distracted driver’s particularly problematic driving, talk with our office. It’s vital to consult a Riverside car accident attorney as soon as possible to clarify your legal options.
Cell Phone Use and Distracted Driving Accidents
Throughout the US, lawmakers in every state have enacted new laws and statutes over the last several years following the advent of consumer-grade cell phones and smartphones. These devices contributed to a massive increase in the number of vehicle accidents. Drivers using cell phones behind the wheel were losing control over their vehicles and failing to pay attention to their surroundings. In California, state legislators enacted several new laws to prevent distracted driving accidents caused by cell phones. Police patrolling California roads uphold these laws aggressively.
The reason cell phone use is particularly dangerous for drivers is the level of distraction it can cause and the fact that it involves multiple types of distractions in a single action. Using a cell phone requires at least one hand, which the driver can then no longer use to operate vehicle controls. If the driver is paying more attention to their conversation than the road ahead, this cognitive distraction can be incredibly dangerous.
Texting behind the wheel is especially dangerous because it requires the use of the driver’s eyes, hands, and attention all at once. California had outlawed the use of cell phones behind the wheel except for drivers who install and use hands-free attachments, such as Bluetooth headsets and speakerphone systems.
The Four Forms of Distraction that Cause Distracted Drivers
Cell phone use is by far the most distracting activity for any driver. However, many other types of distractions can cause accidents in the Riverside area. These distractions fall into four categories:
- Visual distractions. This includes anything that takes the driver’s eyes off the road. Glancing away from the road, even for a second or two, can mean the difference between noticing a hazard and avoiding it in time and having an accident.
- Auditory distractions. Audio cues are very important when driving. If a driver is blaring music from their car stereo or cannot hear around them, this auditory distraction may cause them to fail to notice things like ambulance sirens or other drivers’ horns in time.
- Manual distractions. Drivers’ hands must be free to operate vehicle controls. Using a phone, adjusting the stereo or climate control settings, or reaching into a glove compartment can all amount to dangerous manual distractions.
- Cognitive distractions. These are things that occupy a driver’s mind when they should be focused on driving. Stress, anxiety, fatigue, or simple daydreaming can all amount to cognitive distractions that result in accidents.
Knowing the types of distracted driving is the first step in avoiding them and the accidents it can cause.
Legal Implications of Distracted Driving Car Accidents
When a driver causes an accident due to distraction and negligence, this is a failure of their duty of care to operate their vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner at all times. In most car accident claims, a driver who failed to operate their vehicle responsibly and causes an accident is responsible for all resulting damages. Unfortunately, it is often difficult for plaintiffs involved in cases like these to prove the at-fault driver was distracted.
An experienced Riverside County car accident attorney can help a victim determine the best way to prove an at-fault driver was distracted and responsible for an accident. This may require filing a subpoena for the other driver’s cell phone records, pulling vehicle computer data, and obtaining traffic camera footage that captured the accident as it unfolded. Eyewitness testimony may also be available, and this can further strengthen your personal injury case.
The right attorney can help you collect evidence and build a strong personal injury claim to secure compensation for your losses from a distracted driving accident in Riverside. If you or a loved one have experienced a car accident that you believe happened because the other driver was distracted, call our office. It is essential to take swift legal action to ensure your recovery. Contact Peach & Weathers today to schedule a case evaluation and determine how our team can assist in your recovery.