Distracted driving poses a serious threat to roadway safety in California. As the popularity of smartphones and other mobile technologies has risen, so has the number of car crashes linked to drivers who are simply not paying attention behind the wheel. Surfing the internet or texting while driving have received the greatest amount of attention, and public awareness campaigns and new laws against cellphone use behind the wheel have been launched to urge drivers and passengers to put their devices away.
Auto Technologies May Encourage Distraction
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be surprised to learn that smartphones are far from the only cause of distracted driving behind the wheel. Even if the other driver did not appear to be texting while driving, their distraction and negligence may still have been the cause of the crash. For example, many technologies built into vehicles by auto manufacturers can actually make distraction more, rather than less, likely. Infotainment systems with extensive touchscreens to control the radio, climate system and GPS can pose the same type of threat as a handheld smartphone.
Even Safety Systems May Lead to Car Accidents
Some automated systems have been touted for their utility in cutting down on the number of car crashes. However, some technologies like lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control may encourage drivers to let down their guard. Even though the systems are not equivalent to a fully autonomous, “self-driving” car, many drivers feel free to take their eyes and mind away from the road ahead when these systems are engaged. During an emergency or a sudden change in road conditions or traffic flow, these drivers may be ill-equipped to respond quickly to the situation. As a result, they may cause even more serious collisions.
Individuals who have been hurt in motor vehicle accidents, also known as MVAs, caused by a distracted or negligent driver may have to cope with growing medical bills, catastrophic injuries, lost wages and lifelong disabilities. A personal injury lawyer may help accident victims understand and manage the legal process for seeking compensation, including timelines and the evidence needed to make a successful claim.