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Distracted drivers are still a major issue in California

While it is known how dangerous distracted driving is in California and throughout the U.S., there is a sense of inevitability that people will continue to do it. For the most part, law enforcement does not stop drivers who are driving while distracted. When there is a car collision, one of the first things that is considered as a cause is distraction. Despite the apparent indifference to the practice by its practitioners and those who are supposed to put a stop to it, when there is a crash with injuries and fatalities, those who were affected should be aware of how to pursue a legal case for compensation.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that statistically, there are an estimated nine fatalities and more than 1,000 injuries because of distracted driving accidents in the U.S. every day. Cellphone use is perceived as a culprit. There is a belief that the numbers might be even worse because many drivers will not confess to having been using their phones before an accident.

It is also a statistical reality that fewer citations for cellphone use while driving have been issued in California. The Office of Traffic Safety says that the numbers dropped from slightly more than 476,000 in 2011 to 269,230 in 2015. Drivers are not legally allowed to even hold their cellphone for online use, texting or talking when behind the wheel in the state. The fines for being caught holding a cellphone are minor - $20 - if it is a first offense. However, if there are added penalties it can come to more than $200. Other violations such as littering or an individual driver using the carpool lane have much higher penalties.

Given the limited penalties and lack of enforcement in the state plus the belief on the part of drivers who think they can multitask, distracted driving will continue to be an issue. With drivers who are distracted, there can be car accidents, injuries and death. Considering the short and long-term costs and issues that come from a crash, knowing whether it occurred due to a distracted driver can be vital to a lawsuit. A legal professional can help with an investigation and pursuing compensation in a legal case.

Source:, "Texting and Driving: Why Drivers Get Off Easy in California," Joel Grover, Amy Corral, Aug. 17, 2017

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