Mobile Devices Creating Dangerous Long Beach Intersections
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an independent agency devoted to vehicle safety, the State of California had 3,074 deaths that were a result of a car crash in their most recent study based on 2014. This tragic statistic placed California as the second-leading state for that year, exceeded only by Texas in the category. Approximately 28% of these crashes involved a driver who had a blood-alcohol level, and over 60% of these occurred in urban areas such as the majority of regions in LA, Orange and San Diego Counties.
Drivers Using Mobile Devices
In April of this year California took part in National Distracted Awareness Month. In fact, The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and numerous other law enforcement agencies participated in a statewide educational marketing campaign to confront this growing problem. The California Highway Patrol seems to be the most aggressive agency in the state at enforcing this problem of drivers using electronic devices and other distractions when they should be focused on the road. In a June 22, 2016 press release, the CHP claimed to have already issued 13,496 tickets for various “distracted driving” violations. This should come as no surprise as it seems that many Americans are constantly checking their mobile devices for purposes such as text messaging, e-mail and social media platforms.
Statewide Laws in California
- 2008: The CA Handheld Wireless Telephone Laws went into effect stating that all cell phone voice calls conducted by a driver must be done via a hands-free device unless they are placing an emergency 911 call. An additional provision was added that restricts all drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phones, even with a hands-free device or application.
- 2009: The Wireless Communications Device Law which prohibits any usage related to text messaging for drivers.
Key Challenges in Prevention & Enforcement
- It is difficult to accurately measure the percentage of accidents that are a result of mobile phone usage while behind the wheel. In most cases a driver is not going to admit that they were using a mobile device when the accident occurred, and proving that a driver was actually improperly using such a device at that time is unlikely.
- The current penalties for improper usage of mobile devices while driving are very “soft”. In sharp contrast to other dangerous driving offenses such as OVI, the fines of only $20 for a 1st offense and $50 for subsequent offenses is a rather mild deterrent to most drivers.
- Talking on a cell phone is somewhat of a distraction that can lead to accidents; however, the problem becomes increasingly serious when a driver is texting, using email, or social media since they are no longer even looking at the road.
Despite all of the additional safety measures that are in place in cars today, auto accidents continue to occur with devastating results such as injury, impairment and even death. One minute you are traveling along amid your busy day and suddenly you are involved in a motor vehicle accident with unfortunate results. Attorney Joseph H. Low IV has represented auto injury victims in many of Southern California’s most notable cases, working hard to secure much needed compensation through verdicts and settlements. If you were injured in an intersection accident in Long Beach as a result of another motorist’s carelessness or negligence, contact us for a free consultation. We now have offices conveniently located in Long Beach, Beverly Hills, San Diego, Torrance and Cardiff by T