Distracted Driving: When Failure to Pay Attention Negatively Impacts Lives

As Max Wasserman of The Daily indirectly noted back in late July 2017, distracted driving isn’t just something that plagues motorists and pedestrians. In places all across the country, it’s having a negative impact on cyclists as well. For further proof about the wide-spread nature of this problem, check out the letters New York Times’ Editor, Dean Baquet, received in early August 2017. They too tell the tale of what daily distractions are doing to this country, beyond the rising accident statistics.

There’s the physical and psychological damage cyclists experience to contend with as well. In June 2017, Reuters’ published the results of a bicycle accident study conducted in our own State of California. It clearly showed that medical related expenses alone may cost cycling enthusiasts thousands of dollars per accident. Of course, that estimation doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the incidents’ true cost, which often includes loss of future wages, bouts of anxiety and permanent disabilities.

For example, did you know that people involved in bicycle accident may find themselves diagnosed with PTSD? It’s true and such occurrences are widely noted by Family Doctors. Those cyclists unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with the condition may suffer irreparably damaged relationships as well as lifelong battles against giving in to depression, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts.

As such, it is imperative that our nation’s governing bodies consider implementing measures designed to do more than just penalize distracted drivers. They must ensure the safety of cyclists and provide ways to obtain damage relief as well. Unfortunately, not all governing bodies or accident attorneys are well versed in bicycle law. As such, they may not be adequately prepared to fight for the rights of those whose lives have been impacted by bicycle accidents.

At the Law Office of Gary Brustin, we are prepared to represent and fight for the rights of bicycle accident victims as well as their families. To learn more about what we do and why, please contact us directly today.

Handheld Cell Phone Bans Don’t Necessarily Lead to Drop in Accidents

Distracted driving accidents involving people who are using their cell phones while driving, are a major factor in bicycle accidents in California. California currently has bans on the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, and texting while driving. However, California bicycle accident lawyers have noticed that those bans haven’t necessarily led to a drop in accident rates. A new study confirms this.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety analyzed car accident claims that were filed after two high-profile cell phone ban enforcement efforts by police in Connecticut and New York. They found that there was a drop in violations after these initiatives were implemented. However, there was no drop in insurance claims filed after car accidents.

That seems to indicate that there is no correlation between enforcement of bans on handheld drivers, and a lower risk of accidents. That’s because there are all sorts of distracting behaviors that motorists are engaging in, which often contribute to accidents. Those driving behaviors are not banned. On any given day on California roads, you see people snacking or drinking beverages, reading, talking to passengers, and engaging in many other types of distracting behavior at the wheel.

Each of those behaviors is serious enough to cause a bicycle accident. One of the biggest defenses that motorists have when they are involved in a bicycle accident is that they did not see the bicyclist until it was too late. Often, the reason they failed to see the bicyclist is because they were focusing on something else at the time.

Distracted driving needs to be taken more seriously, and merely having laws that ban hand-held cell phone while driving and texting while driving, wont help. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, we need to tackle the problem of distracted driving effectively, and to do that, we need a much broader and expansive approach, that includes many of the varied types of distracted driving out there.