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A new type of distracted driving: Taking selfies behind the wheel

These days virtually everyone has a smartphone and uses social media apps throughout the day. Whether it is for Snapchat or Instagram or Twitter, people are continuously posting updates and taking photos. Unfortunately, this also includes while driving.

According to a recent study by the Auto Insurance Center, four out of ten people check their social media accounts while driving. Distracted driving has now replaced drunk driving, speeding, and reckless driving as the top cause of accidents across the country. And in this category, it appears that California is leading the pack.

California ranks as worst state for driving selfies

Despite the state's strict laws on the use of cell phones while operating a vehicle, the Auto Insurance Center study on the use of social media while driving found that Californians post more driving selfies than any other state. And the use of driving hashtags such as #IHopeIDontCrash or #drivingselfie rose 80 percent in the course of a year. One local news station found over 27,000 #drivingselfie posts just on Instagram. While California police across the state are trying to keep drivers safe, unfortunately, the chance of an accident increases three times more when a driver is on the phone.

Have You Been Involved in an Accident with a Distracted Driver?

Distracted driving includes anything that shifts your focus away from the road. Cell phone usage is the top cause of distracted driving. Even using a hands-free device causes distractions by creating "inattention blindness" where your brain isn't fully aware of what is right in front of you.

That is why the laws in California regarding the use of cell phones are strict and include:

  • Ban on hand-held devices for drivers of all ages.
  • Ban on all cell phone use (including hands-free) for bus drivers.
  • Ban on all cell phone use (including hands-free) for drivers under the age of 18.
  • Ban on texting for all drivers.

Unfortunately, even with these laws in place, accidents with distracted drivers happen. If you have been in a crash with a distracted driver, you need to be sure that you are ready to protect your claims. Gather as much information as possible at the scene concerning the source of the distraction. If the other motorist admits to using a phone while driving, make sure that law enforcement records this information in their official report of the crash.

After seeking treatment for your injuries, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney will help you ensure that you are compensated for the expenses connected to your crash, including reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages from work. 

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