News reports that “eating while driving” has been blamed for causing a roll-over car crash near Sacramento. Sources indicate that a man was eating a taco while driving down a street in the town of Antelope. Witnesses state that the man took his eyes of the road to brush some crumbs of his lap when he crashed into two parked cars. The impact of the collision then caused his car to flip onto its roof. Officers also note that the man was driving a “whole lot faster” than the stated speed limit of 20 mph.
Car accidents can happen for a myriad of reasons. Regardless of the cause, if you are injured in an accident it is important to seek the advice of a top Stockton accident attorney right away. Many times, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries including medical expenses, back pay, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Here – “eating while driving” falls into the category of distracted driving – one of the most common factors behind California car accidents. Distracted driving includes more than just texting while driving, it includes any actions where a driver loses focus on the road and diverts a person’s attention away from the task at hand – safe driving. As stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2010 alone, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
NHTSA comments that all distractions endanger safety, including that of the driver, passenger and bystander. Types of distractions include:
• Eating and drinking
• Using a cell phone or smartphone
• Talking to passengers
• Reading, including maps
• Using a navigation system
• Watching a video
• Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Texting if often considered the most dangerous because it distracts a driver visually, manually and cognitively. Some additional driver distraction statistics provided by NHTSA include:
• 18% of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
• In the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009.
• 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
• 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.
• Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
• Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
• Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.
• Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
• Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.
In an effort to end distracted driving, several organizations have attempted to raise awareness about the dangers posed – especially targeting teens who as a group are the most frequent to text and drive.
However, as this accident shows – eating and driving can also lead to significant injury accidents.
For more information, or if you have suffered personal injuries as the result of a car accident, contact a top Stockton personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.