According to the National Safety Council, nine in every 10 crashes nationwide are caused by human error. The NSC says most motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted driving, impaired driving, fatigue and inexperience. The latter refers to teenage drivers in particular, and this is as true in California as it is in other parts of the country.
Many vehicle owners think the built-in hands-free and infotainment systems in vehicles make cellphone use and other non-driving activities safe. This is a misconception because research indicates that these devices pose significant cognitive distractions, and something called inattention blindness. Some say visual distractions can be compared to driving with a blindfold. Furthermore, the NSC says one in eight U.S. drivers admit driving while impaired, and about 50% of adults admit to frequently driving while drowsy and fatigued.
When it comes to teen driving, two-thirds of teens who lost their lives in car accidents did not wear their seat belts, and more than 50% of teenage drivers who crashed were distracted. Even more concerning is the fact that 25% of car accidents involved alcohol-impaired teen drivers. The NSC says 50% of teenagers will be involved in a motor vehicle accident before graduation.
Safety authorities urge parents to set a good example for their teens when they drive, and it might help to remind them frequently of the consequences of irresponsible driving. If distracted or impaired drivers cause motor vehicle accidents, injured victims can pursue recovery of damages through the California civil justice system. Similarly, the surviving family members of anyone who died in such an accident can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and/or other parties deemed responsible. An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney can provide valuable support and guidance at every stage of the claims process.