Posted on Jul 26, 2014 12:00am PDT

A Woman drivingDistracted driving has taken on a new dimension as cell phones and handheld devices become commonplace items. It’s hard to resist a ringing phone and when it’s sitting on the car seat next to you, your first inclination is to answer it.

Combine the phone with text messaging and you compound the problems of distracted driving and auto accidents. Text messaging - which takes your eyes, hands, and thoughts off the road - creates a deadly combination of cognitive, visual, and manual distractions while driving.

But text messaging and cell phone use are just the latest additions to a long list of distracted driving habits, from eating to applying makeup, that can lead to a charge of negligence in an accident.

The attorneys at the law offices of Larry S. Buckley have years of experience in determining liability in accidents. With offices from Redding to Sacramento, the team is well-equipped to handle cases involving auto accidents and distracted driving.

If you have been injured in an auto accident and suspect distracted driving, you should have your case reviewed. Auto accident attorneys will fight to ensure you are justly compensated for property damage, medical bills, loss of wages relating to the accident, and pain and suffering caused by another driver’s negligence.

Distracted Driving and Cell Phones

Cell phones and mobile devices have created an uptick in distracted driving cases. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting while driving increases the risk of crashing by 23 times. Even simply using a cell phone - hand-held or hands-free - delays a driver’s reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent, the legal limit for drunk driving.

California has banned the use of handheld cell phones by drivers. In addition, drivers under the age of 18 and bus drivers are banned from any phone use while driving. A separate law prohibits texting by all drivers, including writing, sending, or reading text communications while driving.

Before Cell Phones

Although handheld devices such as mobile phones and tablets are new variations, distracted driving existed long before mobile devices were invented. Simply put: Distracted driving is defined as any act or behavior that takes a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. This can include:

  • Eating or drinking.
  • Talking with passengers.
  • Adjusting the radio, CD player, MP3 player and other controls on the console.
  • Watching the navigation device or videos.
  • Personal grooming.

The crucial point: A behavior does not have to be deemed illegal, like texting, to be categorized as distracted driving and used as evidence of negligence in a personal injury claim. Whatever the diversion, distracted driving is negligent driving and the victim of an auto accident only has to prove that the driver’s negligence contributed to the crash.

What You Should Do

If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, you should seek expert guidance to determine your rights and pursue compensation for injuries or other losses.

You should also understand that if you are dealing with an insurance company, the job of their attorneys is to limit insurance company losses by resolving cases for as little money as possible. You need an attorney working for you who is willing to take a rigorous and thorough approach to win just compensation for your losses.

Because each case is different, we offer free case evaluations so that you can make an educated decision.

Please contact us today for a free, expert evaluation of your case.

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