5 Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving Accidents in California
Distracted driving is a top contributor to auto accidents on our California roadways. In fact, according to the California Highway Patrol, nearly 10,000 people were injured in 2021 alone due to distracted driving behaviors. Over 3,100 people were killed in car accidents related to distracted driving in 2019, which is the latest data available from the CDC. These kinds of accidents can have devastating consequences for the victim, both physically and financially. Any amount of time that you take your eyes off the road increases the risk of an auto accident. Traffic conditions change suddenly all the time, and you need to be prepared to protect yourself and those around you. The only way to do this is to keep your attention on your driving every time that you get behind the wheel.
Here are 5 tips to help you avoid distracted driving accidents in California.
1. Keep Device Use Hands-Free
Devices such as cell phones and tablets must be hands-free during driving. Since 2008, it has been illegal to drive while utilizing a handheld cell phone in the state of California. Since the law was passed, state officials have seen a great reduction in cell phone usage among drivers, but there are still too many using them every day, especially with young drivers. In 2021, California Highway Patrol issued over 57,000 citations to drivers who were using a handheld cell phone to text or call. Utilizing a handheld device greatly increases your risk of becoming involved in a car accident. No text is worth taking your eyes off the road and potentially injuring yourself or someone else.
2. Avoid Eating or Drinking
Eating and drinking behind the wheel can be a huge distraction. You may need to open a container, a bag, a bottle, etc. to consume your food or drink. All of these things take your attention from where they belong—the road. It is important to avoid eating or drinking in the vehicle as much as possible. This will greatly reduce your risk of becoming involved in a car accident.
3. Don’t Adjust Entertainment Controls
Making adjustments to in-car entertainment systems, such as changing radio stations or putting on a movie for the kids, while driving puts you at serious risk of becoming involved in a car accident. You might not notice a change in traffic conditions because you are too busy working the entertainment system. Protect yourself and your passengers and make sure these tasks are handled before you start the car. If you need to make adjustments in route, find a safe place to pull over to do so.
4. Avoid Being Distracted by Passengers
Passengers can take your attention from the road, too. They often want to engage in conversation, which might seem harmless at first, but it does take your mind away from the important task at hand: driving. You should avoid talking with passengers excessively to minimize your risk of not noticing a traffic hazard that could cause a car wreck.
5. Avoid Aggressive Driving Actions
When you are driving, the actions of other drivers may frustrate you, but it’s important to remain calm and collected at all times. Aggressive driving behaviors such as excessive speeding, braking hard, or tailgating other drivers detract your attention from others on the road. Traffic conditions can change at any time. Acting aggressively toward other drivers is not only distracting, but it also significantly increases your risk of becoming involved in an accident.
Been Injured Due to a Distracted Driver?
Even the safest drivers can become involved in a car accident. If you have been injured due to the actions of a distracted driver, you should know that you have legal rights. At the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones, we help accident victims across Kern County and beyond protect their rights after an auto accident. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your injuries. This can help pay for car repairs, medical expenses, and lost income from needing to take time off work to recover from your injuries.
The following strategies will help with your auto accident case.
Get Medical Assistance for Minor Injuries
If you have a seemingly minor injury, it is still important to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible. They will be able to rule out any hidden issues that you might not notice right away. It also helps to have a record of your injuries should they be questioned by the other party during the claims process. You should get copies of any treatment records, and you should also keep all copies of medical bills, prescription fees, and payments you make for any ongoing care that you need. Depending on your case, these could be added to your claim amount.
Contact a Lawyer Promptly
You should get in touch with an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible after your car accident. In California, the statute of limitations to pursue compensation is usually two years following the injury. However, if you wait too long, it can have a negative impact on your case. The other party might believe that your injury wasn’t serious enough to seek compensation right away. Additionally, by contacting a lawyer right away, your accident will still be fresh in your mind, so the details you give your attorney will be more accurate. It will also give your lawyer ample time to gather any evidence that is needed to strengthen your claim.
Don’t Deal With the Insurance Company Alone
Typically, the other driver’s insurance company will try to contact you right away to get your side of the story. They will listen for anything that could potentially reduce your claim. If another driver is at fault for your injury, it is imperative that you seek legal representation before you speak with the insurance company on your own. Your Bakersfield lawyer can provide you with legal advice and strategies for dealing with insurance company representatives. At the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones, our goal is to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation you are eligible for so that you can move forward with your life.
Bakersfield Auto Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in a car accident with a driver who was clearly distracted behind the wheel? Reach out to the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones in Bakersfield. Our team takes a personalized approach to each case because we understand that every accident is different. We will work one-on-one with you to uncover the details of the incident and provide you with targeted legal advice and solutions.
If we believe that you have a case to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, we will work hard to ensure you receive the entire amount you need to recover. We’ll help you negotiate with the insurance company until a fair settlement is offered. If neither party can come to an agreement, we are prepared to take your case to court.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Bakersfield auto accident attorney. We look forward to working with you on your case.