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Rise in Distracted Driving Recorded on California Roads


Posted on May 10, 2012

A recent observational survey of the use of hand-held and hands-free electronic communications devices revealed that the incidence of distracted driving has risen. The California Office of Traffic Safety released the findings of a study it commissioned not long after the second annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.

“Studies have compared driving while distracted to driving while impaired,” explained a California personal injury lawyer, “in that both slow reaction time, thereby contributing to accidents.”

After observing cell phone use among drivers at more than 130 intersections in 17 counties, researchers concluded that about 10.8 percent of drivers on the road were using cell phones at any given time throughout the day, an increase from the 7.3 percent recorded in 2011. 

Drivers aged 16 to 25 years old accounted for the greatest increase, jumping from 9 percent to 18 percent. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego corroborated the OTS’ findings: In a survey of 5,000 college and university students aged 18 to 29, researchers found that 78 percent had used a cell phone while driving; 50 percent texted while driving on freeways, 60 percent sent messages while in stop-and-go traffic, and 87 percent texted while at traffic lights. Distracted driving has contributed to the collisions of 17.5 percent of the students surveyed. 

In 2009, distracted driving accounted for 16 percent of the crashes that resulted in fatality in the United States, claiming the lives of 5,474 people and injuring another 448,000, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Additional information on distracted driving and other transportation safety issues is available to the public free of charge through our Preferred Friends and Clients Program.

If you would like to request a free book or article, or to discuss a specific legal issue with a California personal injury lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596. 

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