You don’t have to look very far on the Internet to find a case in California where a driver was distracted by their cell phone, usually texting, and hit a bicyclist or pedestrian and either killed them or catastrophically injured them. The California DMV has an FAQ page devoted to the Wireless Communications Device Law and Wireless Telephone Law. A surprising truth: these began in 2009 and 2008, respectively. As bicycle accident attorneys in San Francisco and Paso Robles, these laws are just a few of the things we stay up-to-date on for our clients because, sadly, distracted drivers are a contributor to collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists.
According to the most recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is increasing rapidly. They estimate 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices while driving per day (nationally) which caused 3,477 deaths in 2015. Are you one of these distracted drivers?
Think about this for a second – we are all pedestrians every day. We walk to and from our cars at the very least, and walk more in urban areas like San Francisco, which puts you at risk from someone driving while distracted. And if you ride a bicycle like we do (remember, we’re the attorneys who ride, too!), you’re at risk from someone veering off the road, even for a second or only by a couple of feet, but at the wrong second and colliding into you on your bike, right? Each year, San Francisco averages about four fatalities on bicycles each year due to vehicle collisions. Is that text message worth knowing you, a cyclist, hit or even killed another cyclist on the road for? Not likely.
So if you are a pedestrian (which you are) or if you are a cyclist, then why would you ever be part of the problem and risk creating a pedestrian or bicycle accident that might kill someone? Don’t be a distracted driver. We don’t ever want to see an electronic device in your hand while you’re driving (unless you’re dialing 911 because calling an emergency service is currently allowed without a “hands-free” device). And if you do see others driving distracted, it may be hard, but please don’t create an accident by trying to correct them. As bicycle accident attorneys, we want you to be safe!