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Distracted Driving Awareness Month: How Much Of A Problem Is CA Distracted Driving?

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James E. Ballidis
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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was the main factor in 16 percent of fatal crashes and 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009.  This makes distracted driving just as dangerous as speeding or drunk driving; 116 Californians lost their lives in distracted driving crashes that year.
Many distracted driving crashes are attributed to cell phone use. In California, drivers may not text or use a cell phone without a hands-free device.  Bus drivers and drivers under age 18 may not text or use a cell phone of any type.  
Despite the law, drivers continue to text and talk on hand-held cell phones.  According to preliminary statistics, CHP officers issued more than 11,000 cell-phone-use and 397 texting-while-driving citations to Orange County drivers last year.   
Why are cell phones so dangerous? A driver who is travelling at 60 M.P.H. can travel the length of a football field in five seconds, about the time it takes to send a text message.  The delay in reaction time is the same of that of a drunk driver with a .08 blood alcohol level.
Hands-free cell phones are legal in California, but they may not be safe. Researchers have found drivers who use hands-free cell phones also show delayed reaction times.  Learn more in our article, "Can Hands-Free Devices Prevent Orange County Distracted Driving Accidents?"
The Orange County accident attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie urge you to put away your cell phone this month.  We wish you safe driving.

Category: Car Accidents

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