As this blog has reported before, distracted driving is a continuing problem in Orange County and the rest of the Golden State. However, at least according to one study, California actually fares pretty well relative to other states, at least when it comes to the frequency of fatal car accidents involving the misuse of a cell phone.
According to the report, California experienced a rate of 1.03 fatalities, per 10 billion miles driven in the state, which could be blamed on a driver’s being distracted by a cell phone. This ranked California 33rd among the 50 states, with the state ranking 50th having the lowest fatality rate.
While this puts California in the front part of the pack when it comes to cellular phone safety behind the wheel, there is certainly room for further improvement.
According to the authors of the study, California lawmakers have taken many of the proper steps to curb the ongoing problem of texting and driving and unsafe cellular phone use behind the wheel. For instance, California law prohibits the use of handheld devices while trying to drive, and the state also bans texting and driving. As of recently, though, California did not prohibit inexperienced drivers from using cell phones altogether.
On the whole, though, the question may be what additional steps the state needs to take in order to further improve in this important aspect of traffic safety. Certainly, further public awareness and additional enforcement efforts might help. However, it is also important to remember that distracted drivers who cause accidents can be held financially accountable via a civil lawsuit. A victim of a driver who was misusing his or her cell phone can seek professional assistance with evaluating his or her legal options.