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CHP focuses on distracted driving, hopes drivers do too

Inattention on the road is never a good thing. Looking down for a couple seconds, even at low speeds, can cause a car accident. When the collision involves two vehicles, a simple distracted driving fender bender might only result in an awkward conversation between drivers and a minor insurance claim. When the collision involves a pedestrian, even a low-speed crash can prove catastrophic for the pedestrian.

Although there are many distractions on the road, there is no doubt that cellphones have a high capacity to divert driver attention. The California Highway Patrol is no dummy when it comes to cellphones and the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and anyone else that could be affected by a distracted driver. One way that the CHP can help is through strict enforcement of cellphone-related laws, and that is exactly what the agency is doing.

In the year 2012, the CHP issued thousands of distracted driving citations related to either talking or texting on a cellphone. When the 168,000 total citations were divided by 12 months it came out to an average of 14,000 citations per month. Although this might be a good sign that the CHP is focusing on the issue, it is also an indication that there is certainly a problem.

No matter what the text or telephone message is, “It’s Not Worth It!” said Commissioner Joe Farrow. He’s right, and together with the California Office of Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, his agency hopes to reduce the number of pedestrians injured by this negligent behavior.

Not all accidents can be prevented. The personal injury process was put in place to provide victims of negligence civil recourse after a crash. It is a system that addresses the consequences of a situation that they should never have been forced into, and an attorney is the tool that helps a victim ensure that they receive the intended benefit of this process.

Source: Orange County Breeze, “CHP advises drivers not to text while driving,” Feb. 8, 2014

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