California readers are already very familiar with the risks of texting and other cellphone use while driving. Particularly for teens, being distracted while behind the wheel can have serious consequences and can affect many lives. Recent car accidents around the country have reminded drivers and parents that it is not worth the risk to text from behind the wheel.
In the last few years, traffic safety officials both in California and at the federal level have been focused on distracted driving, working to educate drivers on the dangers of talking, texting and emailing on mobile devices while driving. In doing so, however, it seems that many people are no longer focused on some of the more traditional forms of distraction behind the wheel, such as eating and drinking, changing the radio and putting on makeup.
The state of California is set to receive about $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation in order to fight distracted driving in the state. Under the "Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other" campaign, one California metro area will pilot an enhanced distracted driving awareness and enforcement program, including media saturation and increased police enforcement.
If you have read our San Diego personal injury blog for any period of time, you are probably aware that distracted driving awareness and prevention is a major focus of traffic safety agencies both in California and at the federal level. Now, with the release of a new survey on texting and driving in teenagers, this focus will likely become even more intense as government officials work to prevent distracted driving-related car accidents, injuries and fatalities.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the United States, a month in which state transportation and law enforcement agencies work to spread awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and to enforce state distracted driving laws. The ultimate goal of the month is to reduce the number of auto accidents, injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving - most of which are entirely preventable.
Any of our San Diego readers who have been paying attention to news stories and government releases in the past year will likely be surprised by the fact that teenage drivers are among the most dangerous motorists in the country. For many years, the primary cause of the increased auto accident risk among teen drivers was a lack of driving skill and experience.
With the onset of August, many California families are looking for ways to squeeze in one more summer adventure before the kids head back to school. One relatively cost-effective way to take that last family vacation is by heading out on a cross-country road trip. For example, California parents could consider the historical Route 66, a road trip that stretches from California to Chicago, covering eight states between.
Despite the constant warnings of the dangers of drunk and distracted driving, recently released data from traffic safety officials reports that traffic fatalities dropped in 2010, marking the fifth consecutive year of such a decline. In general, auto accident deaths have been on the decline for several decades, likely due to vehicle safety improvements and an increase in driver awareness. However, the data shows, bicycle and pedestrian injuries and deaths have remained steady.
In recent years, it seems that there has always been some large-scale movement aimed at increasing the safety of our roads. First came the campaign promoting awareness of the risks of drinking and driving, followed by the "click it or ticket" seat belt promotion. Now, federal officials have focused their efforts on distracted driving, such as texting, tweeting or updating Facebook behind the wheel.
An auto accident occurring last week on Interstate 805 claimed two lives and resulted in serious injuries for two other passengers in the car. The accident reportedly occurred when the 20-year-old driver attempted to take the Route 94 connector and lost control of the vehicle causing it to drive off the ramp and roll over multiple times.