Although the number of tickets handed out by the California Highway Patrol for distracted driving is decreasing, the number of California drivers still using their cellular devices is on the rise alongside injuries and deaths associated with distracted driving accidents. Drivers using their cellphones might assume that this behavior is innocuous, but it can be deadly when an accident happens.
A survey conducted during April by the California Office of Traffic Safety identified that 12.8% of drivers were seen using their cellphones, an increase of more than 9% from last year. The number of California drivers who were injured or killed in car accidents involving distracted driving has increased each of the three previous years from just over 10,000 to more than 11,000 last year. Drivers using their cellphones are much more likely to be involved in or to cause car accidents in San Diego and beyond.
The number of citations handed down by the California Highway Patrol, however, has dropped significantly. For example, during the month the survey was conducted, the California Highway Patrol wrote 13,496 tickets for distracted driving violations, a 27% decrease from April 2015. The agency says that its primary goal with regard to distracted driving these days is to encourage voluntary compliance and to raise awareness about the dangers of the issue.
Have you already been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver? Drivers using their cellphones may be held liable. If so, you need to speak with an attorney about your rights. You may be eligible to file a claim to recover compensation.