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Can a Car With In-Vehicle Tech Be Used to Prove Distracted Driving?

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Distracted Driving

Car accidents are traumatic, and more so when they literally come out of nowhere and completely derail an otherwise average day. You could be driving down the road one minute and suddenly a driver in the other lane swerves into you for some unknown reason. However, in a large number of accidents, distracted driving can be at play. When it is, you can use distracted driving as a cause for the accident in your personal injury case to prove negligence and make sure all your medical and repair bills will be paid in full for something that wasn't your fault.

When the term "distracted driving" is brought up, the mind still drifts to the old standard. You know, a person talking on a cell phone or trying to do their make up while eating a bowl of cereal. However, with many states adopting anti-distracted driving laws, cell phones aren't really as much of a worry as they once were. Unfortunately, there is a new menace on the road, and it is being increasingly pushed out by almost all car manufacturers - in-vehicle technology.

In-Vehicle Technology

In-vehicle technology can be everything from your navigation system to touch screens and even voice activation systems. It was meant to actually cut down on distracted driving, but new studies have found that it has had quite the opposite effect. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that these new systems often take away driver attention for an average of 40 seconds. That is terrifying news considering that taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your chance for an accident.

Of course, the problem with distracted driving as a cause for an accident is proving it. Certainly, with cell phone records, you could track the times of calls and texts to the time before the accident. If they were using the wireless devices in their car at the time, this is still a valid route in pursue. However, it can be more difficult if the driver was doing something less easy to prove like messing with their navigation, an act that has been found to be one of the biggest distractions one can do while driving.

In these sort of accidents, you will want to trust in the ability of the police to investigate. Be very clear on the circumstances of the accident, and bring up that you may suspect that distracted driving was at play. You may also want to see if you can find any witnesses to the accident that may have seen suspicious activity such as swerving or a random increase or decrease in speed before the accident, as this heavily suggests distraction.

Once you made sure that the police filed a report for the accident, unfortunately, much of the rest of gathering evidence lies with you and your chosen lawyer. Your personal injury lawyer will have a number of different resources at their disposal, so if you suspect distracted driving as a cause, be sure to let them know it. If a driver can be proven to be distracted and that caused your accident, this can be a huge boon to your case to make sure that you get the compensation that you require.

Your Biggest Weapon

Have you been in an accident on the road? Even if distracted driving is probably not the cause of your accident, we can help you. A lawyer is your biggest weapon in personal injury cases, and you need to make use of it to get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can do to help you get your justice for your injury.

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.



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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.