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A survey, reported on by CBS News, found that more than a quarter of the drivers polled admitted to texting while the car was in motion and two-thirds have read text messages when stopped at a redlight or stop sign. The problem is that texting is a distraction and distracted driving increases the risk of crashing, potentially injuring or killing other people in the vicinity.
There are three types of distracted driving – taking your hands off the wheel, taking your eyes off of the road, and taking your mind off of the task of driving. If a person is texting they are using at least one hand to type, which takes their hands off of the wheel. Furthermore, to read a text or to see what is being typed a person must also take their eyes off of the road. Finally, reading or sending a text requires the cell phone user to consider the conversation and therefore is a mental distraction. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sending or reading a text can easily take a driver’s eyes off of the road for five seconds, which is the equivalent of driving 55 mph for an entire football field with your eyes closed.
The majority of drivers recognize that texting while driving is unsafe, yet they continue to text, thinking that they are a safe enough driver to multi-task. On the road drivers who text will slow down and give extra space to the car in front of them before looking down. However, texting drivers will not see if traffic slows down in time to react and are likely to cause rear-ending crashes. Another tactic distracted drivers have is to stay to the far right side of the road, knowing they are likely to swerve slightly. However, this puts cyclists who ride the shoulder at risk and if a driver senses they might be drifting they still may overreact and swerve into oncoming traffic. The truth is that there is no safe way to text and drive.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, it is illegal to use a phone while driving unless it is in a hands-free manner. Furthermore, drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use cell phones for any purpose while behind the wheel. This law applies when the car is at a stoplight or stop sign in addition to when the car is making forward movement.
If you or a loved one has been in a crash recently, it is important you seek the help of a skilled San Jose car accident attorney. An attorney can help collect any evidence of the distractions the at-fault driver may have had that led to the crash and work your personal injury claim for compensation. At Solution Now Law Firm our focus is solely on traffic incidents so we have plenty of experience handling cases involving texting and driving. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
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