It’s no secret that texting and driving is one of the most common bad habits seen when behind the wheel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers who text or talk on the phone while driving behind the wheel are involved in 10 percent of car accidents where there is a fatality and 18 percent of crashes that result in an injury. Texting while driving is considered to be the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it causes all three types of distractions:
- Manual- taking your hands off the steering wheel
- Cognitive- taking your mind off of driving
- Visual- taking your eyes off the road
Texting and Driving in California
In California, there are several laws set in place to help avoid texting while driving. The first two laws ban all drivers from using any type of handheld cellular device, in addition to banning younger drivers under the age of 18 from using hands-free cellular devices. As a result, policemen have the authority to pull you over for just this infraction alone, but there are a few exceptions. Cellphones may be used if:
- You are operating a vehicle on a private property
- You are making an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, medical provider, fire department, or another emergency service agency
- If you are operating an authorized emergency vehicle
If you are pulled over, you may face the consequences of a fine or jail time - depending on the severity of your offense. Although the base fine for your first offense is $20, after assessment fees are added you can expect to pay about $150 overall and $250 for your second or subsequent offense.
California’s “At-Fault” State Laws
California is considered an “at fault” state. This means that the blame and financial responsibility is on the person who is responsible for the cause of the accident. When attempting to prove who is at-fault, it's important that you and your attorney go through any type of evidence you have that could prove the other driver's negligence is what caused the accident. Supporting evidence includes:
- Video of the accident
- Bills for property damage
- Photos of vehicle damage, skid marks, traffic signage
- Eyewitness statements
- Police reports
What To Do If You've Been Hit by Someone Who Was Texting and Driving
If you've been hit by someone who was texting and driving, it's important that you contact an attorney right away. Speaking with an attorney before you speak to the insurance company is advised. Sometimes, insurance companies will do anything that benefits them, rather than what's best for the victims involved. An attorney can help you compile the proper documentation and support needed to win your case. Make sure you provide the attorney with any type of evidence you may have that can prove negligence on the driver who was texting and driving. Contacting an attorney will also ensure that you have an understanding of the process and what is to be expected after you file a claim.
If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by the negligence of a distracted driver, contact the skilled team at Vahdat & Associates today to discuss the details of your case by calling (888) 523-1698 or by filling out the online contact form. We understand what you are going through and are here to help you get the financial recovery you deserve.