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Texting and driving still common, despite law, risk and shocking statistics

When drivers text, their eyes are taken off the road for an average of five seconds. If the vehicle is travelling at 55 miles per hour, it can cover 100 yards, the length of a football field, in that time.

A lot can happen in 100 yards — sudden changes in road conditions, vehicles stopping ahead, a pedestrian crossing the street. Essentially, texting blindfolds a driver for those five seconds, and the reality is that most car accidents happen with fewer than three seconds for the driver to react.

California law bans use of handheld devices and texting for all drivers, but that doesn’t stop many people from talking on their cell phones and texting while behind the wheel. This is very dangerous behavior. In fact, studies have shown that texting while driving can pose as serious a risk as drunk driving.

According to, 3,154 people lost their lives in accidents involving distracted driving in 2013, and distracted driving resulted in injuries to 424,000 people that same year. It is also estimated that engaging in visual-manual activities associated with use of handheld devices triples the risk of an auto accident.

A survey conducted by the California Office of Traffic Safety further illustrates how unfortunately widespread and dangerous distracted driving is: 45 percent of California drivers who participated in the survey said they had made a driving mistake while using their cellphones.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. To learn more, please see Winer, McKenna & Burritt’s overview of distracted driving accidents.

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