April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Newport Beach police are committed to taking a tough stance against anyone caught texting or talking on a hand-held cell phone. The cost is $159 for a first ticket with subsequent ones costing at least $279.
Over 225 local agencies and California will be employing this zero tolerance approach.
"The epidemic of distracted driving, involving motorists causing Orange County, California car accidents because their attention was focused on a cell phone, MP3 player, GPS, or any other device must be stopped," said Howard Law, PC Founder and Anaheim Car Accident Attorney Vincent Howard.
Just this week, the National Transportation Safety Board held a distracted driving forum in Washington DC. NTSB has been calling for even tougher measures than what the US Department of Transportation is seeking in the fight against this dangerous driving behavior. While the US DOT wants all states to ban the use of handheld phones and any text messaging devices when people are driving, the NTSB believes that there should be a ban on hands-free devices as well. The independent federal agency contends that both handheld and hands-free devices can cause not just manual and visual distractions, but also they may create a cognitive disturbance.
In February, the federal government issued voluntary guidelines to vehicle manufacturers for designing built-in infotainment and navigation system in new vehicles. The guidelines are recommending that when a driver is handling any of these devices, completion of the task should take no more than two seconds. Also, ideally a driver would only be able to access/use a social networking site, such as Facebook or Twitter, or input navigation commands when his/her vehicle is in stop/park mode.
However, it is important to remember that distracted driving doesn't just involve the use of a device. "People seem to have gotten into the habit of multitasking because they can," said Anaheim Personal Injury Lawyer Vincent Howard. "Unfortunately, simple tasks such as eating, reading, putting on makeup, or getting the dog to calm down can prove catastrophic when done while driving."
Distracted driving causes thousands of deaths and many more injuries every year and it is a form of negligent driving. This means that if you or your loved one was seriously injured in a Los Angeles car accident because of a distracted driver, you could have grounds for financial recovery. Contact Howard Law, PC, and we can help you explore your legal options.
Also, you probably don't want to be the responsible for causing a Riverside County motor vehicle crash because you were distracted driving. Steps you can take to avoid this:
• Turn your cell phone off before you start the engine of your car.
• If you leave the phone on, turn off any alerts so you aren't distracted by notifications of e-mails, texts, or Facebook tags.
• If you have to make a phone call, even if it's so you can get your directions, pull over and then make the call. The same goes for entering information into your GPS to track your course.
• Avoid multitasking while driving even if the distracting activity doesn't involve a device.
Gadgets share blame for distracted driving, NTSB chief says, The Washington Post, March 27, 2012
Police to Crack Down on Distracted Drivers, Newport Beach Patch, March 30, 2012
More Blog Posts:
CHP Employs "Zero Tolerance" Policy with Distracted Driving Crackdown, California Injury Lawyers Blog, December 29, 2011
NTSB Wants All States to Ban Cell Phone Driving, California Injury Lawyers Blog, December 13, 2011
Huntington Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit Accuses Police Officer of Talking on Cell Phone While Driving, California Injury Lawyers Blog, October 10, 2011
Your first case evaluation with Anaheim Distracted Driving Lawyer Vincent Howard is free.