Hit by a Distracted Driver in California?
San Diego Car Accident Attorney Represents Injured Motorists and Cyclists
An alert driver can often avoid a car crash by responding quickly to emergencies as well as normal occurrences on the road. However, anything that pulls a driver’s attention away from the road can result in a serious or deadly wreck. As technology continues to evolve, driver distraction has become an increasingly common danger. Although texting and driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, anything like eating, talking or changing the radio can be the cause of a serious crash. Additionally, distractions are not only a problem for motorists. Distracted cycling can be just as dangerous for bike riders, who are more likely to sustain serious or even fatal injuries in a crash.
Distracted driving can be difficult to prove. In many cases, the victims of distracted driving accidents do not know what exactly caused the crash. Attorney Frederick M. Dudek has experience investigating car and cycling crashes to determine the cause as well as the liable party. As a San Diego distracted driving accident attorney, he can offer you legal advice and options in a free consultation. If a distracted driver is to blame for your auto accident or cycling injuries, Frederick Dudek can represent your insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit to help ensure you get the full amount of compensation you deserve.
What are the Most Common Driver Distractions?
Anything that pulls a person’s focus away from the task of driving can be a potentially deadly distraction. However, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s distracted driving website, some of the most common distractions include:
- Texting and driving. This is among the most dangerous form of driver distraction because it requires not only a driver’s attention, but it also takes the eyes from the road and at least one hand from the wheel as well.
- Talking on the phone. Many states have hands-free laws that forbid all hand-held cell phone use. However, some studies suggest that even hands-free devices are a sufficient distraction to cause a car crash.
- Other phone use. The widespread use of social media and other apps on smart phones has led to costly and even fatal car accidents in the past. Apps like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and more can be just as distracting as texting, if not more so.
- Eating and drinking. Food and drink can be especially hazardous distractions if spilled.
- Using a GPS or reading a map. Finding directions is easier than ever, thanks to GPS functions on most smartphones. However, trying to program a route while driving can be a deadly distraction as it takes the driver’s eyes off the road.
- Grooming. These distractions can include brushing your hair or teeth as well as applying makeup.
- Talking. Even if you are not on a call, an animated conversation with other passengers in the car can be enough of a distraction to cause a crash, especially in high traffic.
- Daydreaming. Most people spend at least some time in a car each day, which can lead some to grow complacent and daydream behind the wheel. This is especially hazardous if fatigue is also a factor.
Distracted Cycling Can Be Just as Dangerous as Distracted Driving
Like driving, riding a bike requires a person’s full attention. This is especially true when cycling in a busy urban area that may not have adequate bike lanes. Distracted cycling can cause a bike rider to swerve into traffic, miss stop lights and signals, or even crash headlong into a stationary object. Any of these cycling accidents can cause serious injuries or even wrongful death. Some of the most common distractions which cyclists should avoid include:
- Texting and riding. As with a motorist, texting requires a cyclist to look away from the road, take at least one hand off the handlebars and turn his or her attention away from riding. This can be deadly, as a texting cyclist may drift into traffic or be unable to stop in an emergency.
- Talking on the phone. A phone conversation can not only distract a cyclist’s attention, but it can also make it more difficult to hear.
- Listening to music. Wearing earbuds or headphones and listening to music while cycling prevents a rider from hearing car horns and sirens warning of approaching dangers. This is such a danger that many areas have outlawed headphones for cyclists to promote safety.
- Checking equipment. Adjusting a heartrate monitor or programming a GPS on your bike can result in distraction and a potentially costly crash. It is always best to wait until you are stopped to check this kind of equipment.
Distracted cycling poses the greatest risk to the cyclist, who may sustain catastrophic or fatal injuries as a result of an accident. Additionally, if an accident with a car or other vehicle results, the distracted cyclist may be unable to recover compensation. Even if the motorist is partially at fault, the cyclist’s recovery will likely be reduced according to California’s comparative negligence laws.
Learn More in a Free Consultation with a San Diego Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
If you suspect that driver distraction caused or contributed to your car crash or cycling injuries, then San Diego attorney Frederick Dudek may be able to help. He can investigate your accident and consult with experts to determine if the at-fault driver was distracted. Fred can also answer your questions about distracted driving and car crash compensation, free of charge.
Contact our law firm online to schedule a free initial consultation with a distracted driving accident attorney today.