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California officials crack down on distracted driving

From switching the music station on the radio to passing snacks to children in the backseat, distracted driving can take on many different forms. In recent years, cellphone use has received a large deal of media coverage. There is no question that the use of a Smartphone while driving greatly increases the risk of involvement in a car accident, yet people continue to make the choice to pull out their phones and send a text or upload a photo while driving.

A recent article in the Los Angeles Magazine discussed the issue, noting the use of a phone's camera to post photos on Instagram is a growing trend. The report delves into how California enforcement officers have cracked down on the use of a cellphone while driving with over 10,700 tickets issued during the "past three enforcement waves to offending texters." The purpose of the article is to encourage drivers to put down their phones and focus on the hazards in front of them on the already dangerous Southern California roadways.

Just how dangerous can taking a quick photo to post online be? It turns out the answer is really, really dangerous. The article points out that AAA found a short video while driving on the highway takes the driver's attention away from the road for the span of one and a half football fields. Add in the time it takes to chose a filter, come up with a catchy caption, upload the photo and add in some hashtags and it's no wonder that over 400,000 people were injured in distracted driving related crashes in 2012 alone. These numbers will likely jump in upcoming years, since the now popular apps Instagram and Snapchat weren't even invented in 2012.

Unfortunately, those who are choosing to drive safe are often the victims of other's poor choices. If you were injured in a car accident and believe the other driver was responsible for the accident, contact an experienced Southern California car accident attorney to discuss your legal options.

Source: Los Angeles Magazine, "#DrivingSelfies: Instagram's Most Dangerous Hashtag," Shelby Wax, June 16, 2014

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