The number of car accidents rose nationwide for the second straight year according to the National Safety Council (NSC). According to NSC, more than 40,000 people died in accidents involving motor vehicles in the lat year, a 6% rise from the previous year. What’s more, the NSC found that in California, there were more than 3,600 car accidents — a 13% increase from the previous year. Though there is no official conclusion on the cause for the increase, researchers believe that distracted driving caused by cell phones texting and other cell phone activities like streaming video, are the main impetus causing this increase.
California’s new distracted driving law
California’s New Distracted Driving Law, which went into effect on Jan 1st, 2017, prohibits all cell phone activity including talking, texting, streaming video, and using any app while driving a car. This new bill goes beyond existing legislation that only made it illegal to talk and text. California is hoping this new bill which has increased penalties, will curb the rise of accidents by changing the mindset of drivers from even pulling out their phones while on the road. Orange County drivers injured in an auto accident caused by texting and driving have even more legal rights.
Texting and driving stats
The Automobile Club of Southern California states that a driver usually takes their eyes off the road anywhere from 1 to 5 seconds while using a phone. And, since many studies have shown that a human finds it challenging to fully focus on two things at the same time, this lack of attention on the road often causes the distracted driver to cause an auto accident. If you or a loved one was injured by a distracted driver, contact an experienced Orange County auto accident attorney to discuss your rights.
What happens if you get into an accident with a distracted driver?
If you are involved in an auto accident with a driver who was texting, you may be asking a number of questions, including: How can you prove your case? Who is going to believe me? How can I afford my medical bills?
- Step one is gathering as much evidence after the accident. Eyewitnesses are key to proving a distracted driver case. After an accident, immediately call the police to have an officer investigate. Gather as many eyewitnesses to the scene who can give a description of the other drivers activities right before the accident. If eyewitnesses saw the other driver talking, texting or using his smartphone, their statements to the police, and any testimony they give in court is crucial to winning a case.
- Second, talk to your attorney about gathering the cell phone data of the other driver, which he will need to do with a court order. Cell phone companies keep a record of every call, text, and data usage that is made by its customers. Every time you use your smartphone, the signal reaches a tower in that local area, and the cell phone company keeps a record of that signal tower connection that is made. Cell phone records will be able to tell if the other driver was engaged in a call, sending texts or downloading media right before the time of accident.
If you are the victim of an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, contact a Personal Injury Attorney. A distracted driver case can be difficult to prove, but through the steps provided above, you and your lawyer will have a stronger case. For more information, or for a free case consultation, contact the experienced injury attorneys at Dennis Law Group today.