Understanding The Dangers of Texting and Driving in California

Texting and driving are one of the most dangerous things a person can do in California as well as any other state. Texting and driving is a form of distracted driving, which leaves everyone on the road at risk of being involved in an accident whether they are the ones texting or a victim of a distracted driver. Statistically speaking, more than a half million people are injured or killed as a result of texting and driving in the United States, and many of those are in California. California law prohibits the use of hand-held devices and texting while driving, but it’s not enough to stop drivers from engaging in this dangerous act.

Why Texting and Driving is Dangerous

Texting is one of the most dangerous things you can do in a car because it involves several factors. Unlike carrying on a conversation with a friend or playing with the DVD player for the kids in the back, texting requires more than one level of focus.

Texting requires visual focus. You must look at the phone to see what you are texting and where the letters are located. You must also look at the phone to read incoming text messages, and there’s no way to watch both the highway simultaneously.

Driving while texting also requires your manual attention. Your hands are not on the steering wheel when you text, which minimizes your ability to control the operation of a vehicle. This is inherently dangerous to not only you but to all the people who are on the road with you while you choose to engage in a text conversation.

Texting while behind the wheel of a car also requires your cognitive attention. You’re not focusing on driving so much as you are focused on what the person you’re texting might say, and what you might reply with. If you’re in the middle of a heated conversation with a friend or relative, it’s an even bigger distraction.

Avoiding Texting and Driving

The best thing you can do when driving is put your phone out of your reach. If someone needs you, they can call. Most vehicles are equipped with Bluetooth capabilities, which allows you the ability to push a button on the steering wheel to engage in conversation which is less distracting. If you cannot do this, pull over and park your vehicle before you engage in a conversation of any sort.

When you take the time to text while driving, you increase your risk of being involved in an accident with another vehicle or even a single vehicle crash by more than 20 percent. It’s dangerous, and it kills thousands of people each year. Don’t become another statistic. Call a personal injury attorney if you’ve been involved in a Costa Mesa accident as a result of texting a driving to find out what legal rights you have and what actions you can take.