Once again, a post-accident investigation has revealed that a tragic, fatal accident was caused by driver distraction. In a multi-fatality accident in Missouri, a 19-year-old pickup truck driver had texted 11 times in the 11 minutes prior to the accident, including one just before the impact. The Associated Press/Yahoo News, has reported a federal investigation into a multiple vehicle accident has revealed the pick-up driver (traveling approximately 55 miles per hour) had texted just prior to driving his vehicle into the back of a tractor truck, setting off a chain collision involving two school buses. The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student aboard one the buses were killed, and 38 more were injured.

See the AP/Yahoo story HERE.

According to the California DMV website, driver distractions are the leading cause of most vehicle crashes and near-crashes. Citing a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), the DMV reported that 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction. The distraction occurred within three seconds before the vehicle crash!

According to the NHTSA and VTTI study, the principal actions that cause distracted driving and lead to vehicle crashes are:

• cell phone use.
• reaching for a moving object inside the vehicle.
• looking at an object or event outside of the vehicle.
• reading.
• applying makeup.

As more and more people purchase smart phones and other similar, electronic devices, it seems a logical inference the number of distraction-related auto accidents will climb. Behind the wheel of a 4 thousand pound vehicle is not the place to try one’s hand at multi-tasking. In spite of this, nearly one in a hundred drivers on the road at any one time are texting, e-mailing or otherwise using an electronic device, according the National Highway Safety Administration. How many tragic automobile accidents could be avoided if drivers simply focused on the road while driving?

Compensation for the victims of automobile accidents caused by distracted drivers should be an important concern for all Californians. When a driver operates their vehicle while texting, e-mailing or surfing the web, they should be held accountable for the injuries and damages they cause. An Orange County injury lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims. Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years of experience handling Orange County automobile accident cases, including those involving distracted drivers. He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured or killed by a distracted driver?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.