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More cellphone use could create distracted driving car accidents

The potential consequences of distracted driving are well-known. Even companies such as AT&T have launched anti-texting while driving campaigns. The state of California has also attempted to educate the public regarding the danger of causing serious car accidents. And even though police officers targeted distracted drivers in April as part of Distracted Driving Prevention Month by writing nearly double the amount of tickets than other months, a recent study reportedly reveals that the number of people using a cellphone while driving has increased significantly.

The study was conducted by observers who were positioned by red lights and on ramps, for example. In 2014, 6.6 percent of drivers were observed using a cellphone while driving while 9.2 percent were spotted in 2015. One former state legislator claims that the rise is due to low penalties for citations, lack of education enforcing what people already know about consequences, and priority police give regarding enforcement.

The potential consequences of distracted driving are clear, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claiming that it played a role in approximately 80 percent of accidents last year. In 2014, approximately 3,000 people across the country were killed in accidents involving a distracted driver. According to a spokesperson for the Office of Highway Safety, switching to a handsfree device simply isn't enough to ensure safe driving, as at least 37 percent of a person's brain activity is taken away from driving.

Of course, cellphones aren't the only thing distracting drivers in California. However, some feel that laws regarding cellphone use while driving are relatively easy to enforce. Unfortunately, too many people are being injured and killed in car accidents that could likely be prevented if drivers had their full attention on the road. Accident victims are often left struggling with the physical and financial ramifications of an accident. For those victims, a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may be the right option.

Source: mercurynews.com, "California's distracted drivers more common this year, state says", Andrew McGall, July 15, 2015

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