According to a 2010 study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, distracted driving played a part in 11 percent of the 30,797 fatal traffic accidents that occurred in 2009, and 20 percent of the more than 2.2 million auto accident injuries in that same year. The study goes on to note, however, that the potential distractions facing drivers include many things besides cellphone conversations and text messaging.
Other possible distractions while behind the wheel include such things as adjusting the car stereo, “rubbernecking” at an auto accident, and applying make-up or nail polish or shaving while driving.
A 2008 taskforce spearheaded by Jesse White, the Illinois secretary of state, sought to persuade the Illinois legislature to pass new bills authorizing law enforcement agencies to issue citations and other penalties for distracted driving in all its forms. Currently, however, the state’s lawmakers have only passed laws limiting cellphone usage and prohibiting driving while sending or receiving text messages. On a local level, some cities have passed larger scope distracted driving laws prohibiting inattentive driving practices such as eating food, reading or attending to personal appearance while operating a moving vehicle, authorizing police to issue traffic tickets in cases where these practices have led to negligent driving practices.
As a Sacramento car accident lawyer, I’ve seen the damage done when motorists lose focus on the road ahead. If you have been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, please consider contacting a Sacramento personal injury attorney.