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Tag Archives: distracted driving

CA injury lawyerWhen a driver takes their attention away from the task at hand, everyone is in danger. Not only are other motorists in danger, but pedestrians and bicyclists are also put at risk - and it is a big issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reported that in 2016, around 3,450 people were killed in distraction-related accidents, or nine percent of all fatal accidents that year. Most of the conversation surrounding distracted driving focuses on cell phone usage, but many other things are actually included in the distracted driving conversation.

Manual Distractions

These type of distractions occur when a driver takes one or both hands off of the wheel for any reason. Even seemingly simple things like adjusting the air conditioner or turning up the music can distract you from actually driving. Examples of manual distractions include:

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California accident lawyerDistracted driving is one of the greatest threats to safety on the road today, and using a cell phone or texting while driving results in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries in traffic accidents every year. While 14 states (including California) have banned the use of cell phones while driving, the number of accidents involving distracted driving continues to increase. In order to combat this trend, some states are looking to implement new solutions for enforcing distracted driving laws.

Possible New Technology for Detecting Distracted Driving

Some cities and states are looking into the possibility of using technological solutions to determine whether a driver was using their cell phone when an accident occurred. This type of “textalyzer” would be used by police officers to access a phone’s logs and see whether the phone was being used to make a call, send a text, or use an app prior to the accident.

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San Jose car accident lawyerCalifornia recently expanded its distracted driving laws to include activities such as taking selfies and surfing the internet. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2017, and aims to reduce the number of car accidents caused by distracted driving.

Old Law vs. New Law

The existing law in California prohibits drivers from using cell phones to write, send, or read texts or emails unless the wireless device can be operated by voice, hands-free. By comparison, the new law prohibits a wider range of behavior. The new law says that a driver is also prohibited from “holding and operating” a wireless device.

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injury accident lawyer San Jose, San Jose car accident lawyerBy now, we all know the dangers of texting while driving and that texting leads to thousands of car accidents every year, many of them causing serious injuries or deaths. For some reason—and probably for a number of reasons—Americans seem to have trouble putting their phones down and focusing on the road in front of them. It may be easy to convince yourself that sending a quick text message is no more dangerous than adjusting the radio or thinking about a work project. A new study, however, suggests a driver’s brain is inclined to protect a distracted driver in many cases, but not when the distraction is created by texting.

Small-Scale Research

The study was conducted by a research team from the University of Houston and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, and was partially funded by a program established in the wake of a class-action settlement involving Toyota. The researchers looked at the effects of various types of distractions on 59 volunteers as they navigated a stretch of highway on a high-tech driving simulator.

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cell phone notification, distracted driving, San Jose Personal Injury LawyerFor years now, public awareness campaigns have been reinforcing the inherent danger of cell phone use while driving. In fact, one could argue that the war against texting and driving is nearly equivalent to the anti-drunk driving efforts of the 1980’s. Today, 46 states and the District of Columbia have instituted complete bans on texting while driving, while Texas and Missouri maintain bans for younger drivers. Only Montana and Arizona have no laws prohibiting such mobile device use. However, a new study suggests that simply hearing a cell phone notification may be just as distracting as actually using the device.

Interesting Research

Conducted by researchers at Florida State University, the study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. Lead author Cary Stothart and his team examined the impact to an individual’s attention caused by a cell phone notification—either an audible tone or vibration—while performing a task that demanded concentration. Using a non-driving computer project, test subjects were asked to perform an attention-intensive task twice. During the second round, participants received either a call, a text, or no notification, but were not permitted answer the call or read the message. The subjects were not aware that the texts and calls were part of the study.

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