Symptoms of dangerous driving.
Carelessness, stress, too many cars on roadways and too much time spent behind the wheel all impact the increase in accidents on California highways. Road rage may result from situations where one driver notices another texting, and driving unsafely down the middle of a roadway, escalating a situation into a confrontation where a driver will try to teach the texting driver a lesson by cutting them off, or braking short, resulting in an accident. Driver distractions include eating, grooming, tending to small children, reaching for objects, tampering with automobile touchscreens, and any other task that involves a reduction of attention to the act of safe driving.These actions may not be a wanton disregard for safety but a moment that caught a driver off guard resulting in an accident.
California has had distracted driving laws in place for over ten years now and those laws support claims for damages when a driver’s use of a cell phone plays a major role in a vehicle accident. The 2016 Assembly Bill 1785 was meant to discourage drivers from holding an electronic device while operating a vehicle. Drivers under the age of 18 cannot even use hands-free devices while driving. California highway patrol is diligent in their efforts to reduce distracted drivers through the issuance of tens of thousands of citations in 2019. The goal of the distracted driving laws is to provide increased safety on California roadways and decrease the amount of injuries and wrongful death situations that occur.
Self-discipline must be embraced when it comes to a decision to be a safe driver and pull over when a driver needs to use their cell phone for communication purposes. Legal professionals are necessary to navigate through the many court actions involving automobile accidents and distracted driving to measure the degree of carelessness or negligence that contributed to a car accident.
Car Insurance and liability covers some portion of court-awarded damages. California law requires that drivers have a way to cover costs related to damages or injuries caused in a car accident. Purchasing liability car insurance is the simplest and most common way people choose to meet this requirement.
The minimum amount of liability insurance drivers must carry is:
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
- $5,000 for damage to property.
Comparative Negligence. Under California law, “everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person…” meaning that if a driver is responsible for any part of activities that led to injury, the compensation will be adjusted in accordance with a percentage of fault assigned to each driver. If the accident was caused due to breaking distracted driving laws, the percentage of fault may be reflected in the compensation for the automobile accident case, including property and bodily injuries.
Hire an attorney.
Seek legal counsel immediately after accidents where a driver was ignoring the California “hands-free” cell phone laws. Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, who specialize in automobile accident laws in San Diego California may be able to offer some valuable information toward legal action.
Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation
501 West Broadway, Suite 1650
San Diego, CA 92101