Distracted driving is the phrase describing any behavior that can lead a driver to be reckless or indifferent to the safety of others. Distracted driving can easily result in a car accident.
It frequently applies to texting and cell phone accidents, but it includes a wide range of actions that drivers engage in that make them dangerous to pedestrians and other vehicle drivers:
- Speaking to passengers or kids
- Eating and drinking
- Using a GPS navigation system
- Changing channels on the radio
- Adjusting an MP3 player
- Personal grooming
- Picking up change on the car mat or adjacent seat
- Adjusting the heater or air conditioning
- Reading a map
- Getting lost in thought or daydreaming
- Driver fatigue
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Most of us have done these things at one point. The problem is when distracting behavior causes us to take our eyes and attention off the road, and other people are hurt or killed!
When this happens, a distracted driver is the same as a drunk driver, causing serious harm or death to another person or persons because their negligent conduct became more important than the lives and safety of others.
Texting While Driving
Depending on the circumstances, we might pursue punitive damages in distracted driving injury cases with the same energy that we go after those who might drive while intoxicated — to send a message to the community that this behavior cannot be tolerated.
Our Sacramento distracted driving lawyer also seeks payment for medical treatment and rehabilitation, for lost pay and job retraining, plus compensation for the physical and emotional pain your injury has caused you.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to seek compensation. Our office works with injured persons and surviving family members throughout Placer County and surrounding areas.
The Dangers of Texting and Driving
Texting while driving is not the only dangerous distracted driving habit, but it is one of most common and deadly. The act of sending or reading texts generally requires one to look away from the road for at least 5 seconds. If you are traveling at 55 mph, this is equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. No driver can safely operate a vehicle safely while engaging in other activities.
The use of cell phones while driving is widely regarded as a dangerous habit and, as such, nearly every state in the country has banned texting for all drivers, regardless of age, and those that do not still impose some restrictions on cellphone use while behind the wheel. Read about our record $34.9 million injury award.
Drowsy And Distracted Driving
No one drives well when they're falling asleep. Most people can pull off and grab 40 winks. Over-the-road truck drivers know they have to keep pushing to make schedule. So they drive exhausted at some point, almost every day on the road.
"Drowsy driving" is not the only unacceptable driver behavior. Just as dangerous are drivers who drink behind the wheel, who drive recklessly, or are so distracted by items in the cab — their stereo, their cellphone, their dog — that they cannot pay attention to your family's safety.
Accidents Involving Uninsured And Under-insured Motorists
Irresponsibility can take many forms besides drunk driving. Many accidents involve drivers driving without the benefit of liability insurance. Without insurance, you won't obtain fair compensation from such persons. Likewise, drivers whose policies will not cover the extent of your injuries — we call these under-insured drivers — seem like dead ends for compensation.
Some kinds of car accidents are different. When a driver recklessly causes harm, the word accident scarcely applies. Drivers know that it's wrong to drive:
- While inebriated (drunk)
- Above the posted speed limit
- While distracted by something in the car — a map, a sandwich, an MP3 player, conversation with passengers, etc.
The courts often may permit plaintiffs to ask for compensation in these kinds of cases above and beyond the usual compensation damages categories of lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. You are permitted to ask the jury to assess punitive damages against the drunk driver or distracted driver — because behavior that recklessly endangers the lives of others is simply unacceptable.
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Our Recent Wins
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