Distracted Driving: It’s Not Worth It
Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous situations drivers can face, and in 2011, it finally received the attention it deserves when April was named National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. That same month, California did its part by creating an awareness campaign of its own called It’s Not Worth It! The campaign has been held every year since and, according to personal injury lawyers, has been very successful in spreading awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Even though national and state campaigns were launched several years ago, many people are still unaware of the risks posed by distracted driving. California, however, has compiled some shocking statistics to prove the point that it does not pay to drive while distracted:
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 3,154 people died and 424,000 were injured in distracted driving incidents across the U.S.
- Ten percent of teenage drivers involved in fatal car crashes were driving while distracted.
- Drivers engaging in tasks other than driving are three times as likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash.
- Drivers engaging in text messaging while behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision.
- Twenty percent of teenagers and 10 percent of adults continue to engage in extended, multiple-message text conversations while driving.
It’s Not Worth It! Saves Lives
The first It’s Not Worth It! campaign was a great success. In addition to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), 103 California Highway Patrol (CHP) offices and more than 200 local law enforcement agencies across the state took part in the zero-tolerance program, which resulted in about 53,000 traffic citations. A personal injury lawyer in the state will also be credited in helping with the campaign.
First offence’s for distracted driving result in a $20 fine, which totals $76 after court costs are applied, and subsequent offenders are fined $50, which increases to $190 with court costs. However, Joe Farrow, commissioner of the CHP, stated that issuing tickets is not the purpose of the campaign. Rather, it was introduced as a means to create awareness and change driver behavior, reducing the number of injuries and deaths that occur on California roads.
In subsequent years, the campaign has been even more successful than it was in the first year. In 2013, 426,000 people were convicted of talking or texting on cell phones while driving. In addition, distractions caused by the use of electronic devices while driving decreased from 7.4 percent in 2013 to 6.4 percent in 2014 for a total decrease of 13.5 percent since the campaign started.
A personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence, contact The Personal Injury Department at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP.
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