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The Three Forms of Distracted Driving

Thursday, September 14, 2017

When it comes to auto accidents, the most common cause of accidents comes from one thing – distracted driving. However, for many, distracted driving is considered talking to someone or texting on a cell phone, but in truth, distracted driving can be classified in three forms. If a driver’s actions can be classified in either, it is a great foundation for a lawsuit.

The three forms of distracted driving include:

  • Visual – This covers distractions that take your eyes off the road. This can be everything from glancing at your phone to trying to break up a fight between kids in your back seat.
  • Manual – This involves any action that involves you taking one or even both hands off the wheel while driving. This can be texting or even eating a sandwich while driving.
  • Cognitive – This final form of distracted driving can be the most difficult to prove since it involves your attention being taken away from driving by thought. When it comes to proving this, typically it comes from utterances like how you were upset about how you just broke up with someone or your mother is sick.

Once you prove any of these three forms, or in many cases, all three of them, then you have a very clear case for a distracted driver, meaning that driver was a danger on the road. However, aside from proof, you also need a skilled lawyer by your side. If you need representation for an auto accident or any other personal injury accident, contact us today to learn what we can do for you.

Teens Much More at Risk of Distracted Driving Accidents Than Presumed

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Teen motorists are at a much higher risk of distracted driving than earlier studies have pointed out. The federal administration believes that as many as 14% of all teen driver accidents are linked to distracted driving. However, new studies have found that distraction is a much bigger factor in teen accidents than earlier believed.

The study analyzed 1,700 videos of teenage drivers, and found that the teens were often very distracted while driving. They also found that the distractions did not always involve the use of cell phones and other electronic devices.

Some of the findings of the study:

15% of the teen driver accidents involved teenagers interacting with their passengers

12% of accidents involved cell phone use at the wheel

10% of accidents involved teenagers who were looking at something inside the vehicle

9% of accidents involved external distractions

8% of accidents involved singing or dancing to music

6% of accidents each involved grooming and reaching for an object

Those statistics are very disturbing, because teenagers already have the highest accident rate of any category in the United States. In 2013 alone, approximately 963,000 drivers between the age of 16 and 19 were involved in accidents. These accidents resulted in 2865 fatalities, and more than 380,000 injuries.

Parents play a very important role in reducing the risk of distracted driving involving teenage motorists. Speak your teenage child about the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, and make sure that your teenager follows all laws related to passenger restrictions.

Cell Phone with Video Capability Could Actually Reduce Distracted Driving Risks

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

When a person is talking on his cell phone, but has a passenger in his car whose eyes are focused on the road, he could probably be safer and less likely to be involved in an accident, than if he is using a cell phone while driving alone.

A new study that was conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada worked at identifying ways of helping reduce or mitigate accident risks when a person is using a cell phone at the wheel. The point of the study was not to condone the use of cell phones behind the wheel. However, as cell phone use continues unabated, and people continue to ignore the dangers of distracted driving, it is important to look for other ways of helping reduce accident risks.

In the study, the researchers tested their driving behavior in 4 conditions, using a driving simulator. In the first case, there was a single motorist alone in the car while in the second case, the driver was accompanied by a passenger while he had a conversation. In the third case, the driver had a conversation on a cell phone using an audio-only connection. In the fourth case, the driver had a cell phone conversation using a one-way video connection that allowed the person with whom he was having a conversation to see the driver’s perspective of the road, just like he was a passenger in the car.

The researchers found that the safest driving occurred when the motorist was driving all alone, with no cell phones to distract him. However, when he compared the other types of situations, the researchers found that talking to a passenger in the car while driving was less safe than driving all alone with no passengers. However, it was safer than using an audio-only cell phone while driving. The video phone call worked almost as well as having a passenger sitting right next to the driver in the car.

Distracted Driving Is a Major Risk for Teen Drivers

Sunday, September 14, 2014

As thousands of teenage drivers across California head back to school, a new report confirms to Burbank car accident lawyers the serious problems involving teenage distracted driving, and the high accident risks affecting such drivers.

According to the report that was released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, teenagers comprise the largest portion of distracted motorists involved in fatal accidents. Approximately 57% of fatalities in these accidents were the teen drivers, and the remaining were passengers, occupants of other cars, and other people on the road like bicyclists.

The report also had other intriguing findings. Contrary to popular belief, it found that teenagers who were most likely to be driving distracted were not the ones who were the most inexperienced or the youngest. In fact, it found that the most inexperienced drivers or youngest drivers were actually less likely to use cell phones while driving, compared to older teenagers.

Teenagers continued to remain overrepresented in motor vehicle accident statistics. Teen crash fatalities dropped by 49% between 2003 and 2012. However, teenagers who account for just 6% of the total number of licensed drivers in the country, comprise 9% of all drivers involved in fatal accidents and 30% of all accidents that are reported to the police. Teenagers simply have higher numbers of distractions to cope with than adults.

More than one-third of teenagers now have smart phones, an increase from 23% back in 2011. Many teenagers access the Internet not just on their cell phones, but also electronic communication devices like tablets, and much of that access happens when they are driving. Distractions from changing radio channels, distractions from outside the car and distractions involving fellow teenage passengers all of these increase the risk of an accident involving a teenage motorist.

Distracted Parents Often Ignore Warnings from Teenager Children

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

As a parent, you are the first driving instructor that your child has, and the kind of driving examples that you display for your child could become permanently ingrained in your child's psyche. The distressing results of a new study show that many parents often ignore warnings about distracted driving or intoxicated driving from their teenage passengers in the car.

According to the survey by Liberty Mutual, as many as 42% of teenage passengers admitted that they have found their parents texting while driving, and have tried to get their parents to stop, but their parents simply ignored them, or tried to justify their behavior. As many as 18% asked their parents to stop driving when they were high on weed, but in about 40% of the cases, they got the same reaction.

It's appropriate to wonder whether parents should also be targeted with the same kind of safe driving initiatives, that we usually inundate teenagers with.

Many of the teenagers admitted that they have frequently been passengers in cars operated by parents, who were clearly driving dangerously or in no condition to drive. About 7% of them admitted that they had been passengers in cars driven by parents driving under the influence of pot. About 88% said that they had been a passenger when parents were using a texting device while driving, and 50% admitted that they had seen their parents texting while driving. 16%, said that their parents had operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, with at least one child in the car.

All of these are extremely dangerous behaviors that seriously increase the risk of an accident. They also provide very poor driving examples to young teenagers, who are only likely to believe that these behaviors are acceptable because their parents engage in them.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.