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Cell Phone Use Rising Among California Drivers

Despite warnings regarding the dangers of cell phone use while driving, many drivers still refuse to put their phones away when they are behind the wheel. In fact, a recent study found that cell phone use is actually on the rise in California.

According to an observation study conducted by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), the percentage of California drivers seen using a cell phone while driving increased nearly 40 percent from last year. In 2015, 9.2 percent of motorists were spotted using a cell phone while driving, compared to 6.6 percent of drivers in 2014. Due to limitations of the study, the percentage of drivers talking and texting on their cell phone behind the wheel is likely significantly higher, according to the Office of Traffic Safety.

“It’s shocking that nearly 10 percent of motorists were observed using their cell phones while driving a motor vehicle, a potentially-lethal combination,” said Office of Traffic Safety Director Ronda Craft. “We will continue our aggressive public outreach campaign and our partnership with law enforcement to educate the public about the dangers of those who drive distracted and put the lives of others at risk.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some sort of driver inattention causes 80 percent of motor vehicle accidents. Across the country, distracted driving claimed approximately 3,000 lives last year. While California does not specifically track distracted driving crashes, the OTS estimates that 300 to 400 people die each year in accidents linked to cell phone use.

Given the risks, below are several ways to limit distractions while driving:

  • Never text and drive
  • Turn off your phone when you get behind the wheel
  • Don’t text or call someone when you know they are likely to be driving
  • Make a pact with your family, spouse, and caregivers never to use the phone with kids in the car.
  • No eating or drinking while driving
  • Don’t program your GPS, MP3 player or other devices while driving
  • Pull over and stop to read maps.
  • No grooming
  • No reading
  • No watching videos
  • Try not to get too involved with passengers
  • If something falls to the floor, pull over before trying to reach it.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contacta San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.