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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.


Los Angeles Pedestrian Accidents: Who Will Enforce Your Rights?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

It's a nightmarish scenario: you're walking or running when you are hit by two tons of moving metal. Whether you saw the vehicle coming or not, you didn't stand a chance against it. You now have physical injuries that may keep you from work for a few days, months or even years. The emotional trauma can be even worse, leaving long-lasting scars on the inside.  

Unfortunately, accidents involving pedestrians are all too common. A February 2015 LA Times story reported that California led the nation for pedestrian accidents for the second year in a row.

There are many reasons for pedestrian accidents; many involve inattentive drivers or drivers operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Others accidents are just that: accidents, and in some cases, you may feel partially responsible. But, whatever the cause, these types of accidents invariably involve medical evaluations and treatment for injuries. 

Whether your injuries were relatively minor or more severe, a consultation with a personal injury attorney is a critical next step. You have rights under the law, and by engaging an experienced law firm, you will have a team of experts working to enforce those rights. Pedestrian accidents are almost always complex, and no two cases are exactly alike.

Rather than accepting a driver's or an insurance company's initial offer of settlement, you owe it to yourself to ensure the offer is fair and appropriate based on the circumstances.  

If you or a loved one was involved in any type of pedestrian accident, contact us for a free consultation. You won't pay a penny in legal fees unless we win your case and get you the compensation you deserve.  

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.

Distracted Motorists Admit to Engaging in Array of Dangerous Behaviors

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Many studies have indicated that an overwhelming majority of American motorists are very aware of the risks of texting while driving. However, while Americans seem to be attuned to the risks that are involved when they use electronic communication devices while driving, they are not as careful with other forms of distractions while driving.

In fact, a recent study finds that many Americans are engaging in very dangerous practices, including grooming, combing their hair, brushing or flossing their teeth, playing the guitar, taking selfies, and applying makeup while driving. About 3% percent of the respondents in a recent survey admitted to going to the bathroom while driving. Clearly, the concept of distractions is one that is unclear to many American motorists.

Distraction is any activity that can take your attention away from the task of driving. You don’t necessarily have to be texting while driving or talking on your cell phone for you to be distracted. Anytime you perform an activity that takes your eyes away from the road, your hands off the steering and your mind from the task of driving, you are at a higher risk of a distracted driving accident.

There are many types of distractions at the wheel, and this is one of the reasons why it’s hard to determine whether a motorist was inattentive at the wheel at the time of an accident. If you were involved in a distracted driving accident, for instance, it may be challenging for you to prove that the other motorist was inattentive, or had his concentration elsewhere at the time of the accident. If the other driver was texting while driving, you may be able to access records of the cell phone company to prove that he was texting.

However, in the case of other distracting behaviors, proving negligence may become challenging. You may have to rely on eyewitness accounts or the motorist’s own testimony that he was engaged in other distracting behaviors at the time of the accident.

Middle-Aged Motorists Much Worse at Texting While Driving

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Middle-aged drivers have problems with multitasking, and therefore, may find it more difficult to text while driving. That increases their risk of an accident if they are using a cell phone at the wheel.

Texting while driving is a dangerous practice that motorists must avoid at all costs. Distracted driving contributes to thousands of accidents every year, and kills an average of 3,000 people every year. Those numbers are steadily increasing, and distracted driving has rightly been described as the “new drunk driving.”

Younger drivers are much more likely to text while driving. Younger and teen drivers are more likely to be addicted to their smartphones, and may be much more likely to use these phones while driving, compared to older drivers. However, younger drivers in the study were found to be much less likely to make the kind of driving errors that contribute to accidents, compared to older drivers.

The researchers tested a number of drivers between the age of 18 and 59, and divided them into 4 categories. They found that in the 18-to-24 group, approximately 25% of the motorists made a lane excursion, or moved out of their lane and into oncoming traffic. However, among the 45- to- 59 age group, as many as hundred percent of the drivers made these dangerous lane excursions.

San José car accident lawyers warn that this doesn't mean that teen drivers can safely text while driving. It only means that texting may be much more dangerous for older drivers, who must avoid texting at the wheel.

The good news is that texting while driving, is much less popular among older drivers. The risk of texting while driving actually decreases with an increase in the person's age, and senior drivers above the age of 65 are least likely to text at the wheel.


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