Monterey Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
Throughout California, distracted driving is an incredibly common factor in many car accidents. Unfortunately, the trend in the number of crashes caused by distracted driving seems to be going up. In 2020, UC Berkeley found that nearly 20% of all car collisions in Central California occurred due to texting while driving alone.
Even without counting other types of distractions, it’s clear that this presents a huge risk to all drivers on the road in Monterey. However, if you or a loved one sustains an injury from a distracted driver, the attorneys of Silva Injury Law are here to help. Contact us today.
Distracted Driving Statistics For Monterey County
Every few years, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) collects data about accidents throughout the state, including Monterey County. The last study, which examined distracted driving incidents in 2018, had some worrisome statistics. Out of a sample size of about 30,388 random vehicles in California, OTS found that 4.52% drove while distracted by an electronic device.
When it comes to specific counties, Monterey County had the seventh-highest rate of distracted driving, at about 3.92%. While this is lower than the state average, the rate of device manipulation in Monterey County was higher, at around 2.87%.
Common Causes Of Distracted Driving
Although many people associate texting with distracted driving, they may overlook several other distractions. The reality is that any distraction that takes your focus away from the road in front of you is dangerous, no matter what it is. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), distractions greatly reduce a driver’s reaction time and increase lane deviations. This includes any distraction that visually or cognitively takes your attention away from the road, including:
- Adjusting the radio,
- Talking on the phone,
- Texting while driving,
- Talking to a passenger,
- Eating or drinking,
- Putting on makeup,
- Reading something
- Reaching for an object, or
- Looking at something else outside of the vehicle.
As you can see, it only takes a split second of distraction to cause an accident. In fact, a famous and widely cited 2011 study by the Texas Transport Institute found that the reaction time of distracted drivers was double that of focused drivers. At high speeds, this may mean the difference between a serious collision or no accident at all.
How To Prove Distracted Driving
Proving negligent or distracted driving requires different pieces of evidence, particularly when it comes to the crash itself and your damages. Ultimately, you need proof that the other driver was distracted and that their actions caused your accident. In California, proving distracted driving comes down to these four elements:
- Duty of care—the other driver had a duty to keep you and others on the road safe;
- Breach of duty—that driver ignored their duty by failing to act in a reasonable or responsible way;
- Causation—the actions of the other driver directly led to and caused your injuries; and
- Damages—you sustained measurable losses in the accident due to the other driver’s negligence.
While navigating these different elements of your claim isn’t easy, our Monterey distracted driving accident lawyers can help. They’ll search for and collect evidence related to your accident that may help show your side of the story. That includes photographs, videos, witness statements, medical records, and more.
What Is The Average Settlement For A Distracted Driving Claim?
During your research on accident claims, you may find multiple sources claiming to know the average settlement for similar claims. Unfortunately, these averages are misleading for a couple of reasons. First, none of these averages include confidential settlement information, which makes up a significant portion of all car accident settlements. This means that the average isn’t truly representative of all types of cases. Second, they don’t take into account the unique circumstances of your case.