Distracted driving involves any activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), texting, using a cellular phone, or a navigation device while driving are typical examples of distracted driving.
The CDC reports that there are three main types of driving distractions. Those are:
- Visual when drivers take their eyes off of the road
- Manual like when a person takes their hands off of the steering wheel
- Cognitive when drivers when drivers take their minds off of driving
Texting while driving is probably the most dangerous driving distraction. It compromises visual, manual and cognitive functions. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, at 55 mph, sending or reading a text message takes a driver’s eyes off of the road for about five seconds. That’s long enough to cover a football field.
Distracted drivers and bicyclists
As per a recent study from Public Health Reports, the number of bicyclists who were killed in distracted driving accidents increased by 30 percent over five years. These numbers are likely underreported too. Most motorists aren’t going to admit to being distracted when an accident occurred. Surprisingly, most bicyclists were killed during daylight hours. If a bicyclist isn’t killed by a distracted driver, he or she can still suffer severe permanent injuries and overwhelming medical bills.
Proving distracted driving
If a driver does admit to distracted driving, that admission is likely to be entered in the investigating officer’s crash report. The admission can be used against the driver in a personal injury case. Witnesses might have seen the driver using a cellular device at the time of impact. Their testimony can be used to prove negligence. Phone and texting records might also reveal distracted driving. Any traffic or security camera footage from the location might also be used.
Common distracted driving scenarios
It’s painfully obvious that bicyclists are at a far greater risk of being seriously injured when involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. Common collision scenarios, all of which can involve distractions include:
- Motorists opening doors in front of bicyclists
- Bicyclists being sideswiped by vehicles
- Motor vehicles making right turns in front of bicyclists
- Motorists turning left in front of bicyclists
- Bicyclists being rear-ended by motorists
Distracted driving is a choice
Distracted driving is preventable. It’s a choice that most people don’t even think about when they’re behind the wheel. Even the use of a hand-free device while carrying on a phone conversation affects a driver’s cognitive abilities and causes drivers to pay less attention to what’s going on around them.
Contact Bay Area Bicycle Law
Our law firm has a successful history of representing bicyclists who have been injured by inattentive and distracted drivers. These crashes often involve lengthy hospital admissions, surgeries, permanent disfigurement or disability and significant lost income. If you or somebody close to you was injured in a bicycle accident involving a distracted driver, you can call or email our office and arrange for a free consultation and case review. We’ll listen carefully to you and isolate every possible source of compensation for you. We’re dedicated and aggressive California bicycle accident lawyers. Our objective is to maximize our client’s compensation on any case that we’re retained on. Never give a statement of any kind to the opposing insurance company. It will only try to use it against you in the future. Talk with us first.
We work exclusively with injured cyclists in northern California. If you were injured in Davis, Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco or anywhere in northern California and think a distracted driver may be responsible for your injuries, contact us today.