California was one of the first states in the nation to attempt to crack down on the use of phones while driving. As the month of April is designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, people will continue to hear about how using phones when behind the wheel is dangerous. This type of effort is needed because statistics show that even with a clear ban on the handheld use of phones while driving, too many drivers refuse to put away their phones.
An 18-month long study of more than 100,000 drivers was conducted by Cambridge Mobile Telematics in an effort to see just how serious the problem of distracted driving in America really is. The results, which were recently made public, found that appoximately 25 percent of drivers involved in accidents had been using their phones just before crashing. In a time when fatalities in motor vehicle accidents are on the rise, this is a dangerous trend indeed.
In comparing states with and without bans on handheld phone use while driving, the difference in actual behavior is startlingly similar. For states without such bans, drivers are found to use their phones an average of 3.82 minutes for every 100 miles driven. For states like California with such a ban, that time reduced only to 3.17 minutes for every 100 miles driven. Clearly, a ban is not enough to get people to do the right thing.
Californians involved in accidents with distracted drivers deserve help. Talking with a lawyer might be a good way of learning what options are available.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “1 in 4 drivers was on a phone just before crash, study of distracted driving says,” Mary Wisniewski, April 3, 2017