CALIFORNIA – Drivers know it’s wrong to use a cell phone behind the wheel, but at any given time at least 9% of California drivers are texting or talking from the driver’s seat, according to a report by the California Office of Traffic Safety.
Police enforcement has stepped up in the past year with hand-held cell phone convictions up 22% from 361,260 citations in 2010 to 460,487 citations in 2011. Texting convictions nearly doubled, up 47% from 7,924 tickets in 2010 to 14,886 tickets issued in 2011, the report said.
“These are preventable deaths,” said Attorney West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law firm. “Although we can see progress in recent years there are still too many drivers on the road with cell phones in their hands.”
According to California’s 2011 Statewide Traffic Safety Survey 62% of Californians believe that texting and talking are the biggest traffic safety problems on our roadways.
The crackdown on distracted drivers may actually be working. In 2010, California’s traffic fatalities dropped by 11.9% from 3,081 deaths in 2009 to 2,715 deaths in 2010 – the lowest level since the federal government began recording traffic fatalities in 1975.
Drunk driving has also seen a drop in deaths in 2010 with the lowest DUI death rate ever recorded. Fatal traffic accidents with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or greater dropped by 14.4 % from 924 in 2009 to 791 in 2010.
“Drinking and driving can continue to decline in California if more people participate in preventing drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel,” Seegmiller said.
This article was written for the Seegmiller Law Firm. If you need a personal injury attorney call the firm at 1-855-ASK–WEST. For over 30 years, the Seegmiller Law Firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought for clients involved in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including premises liability, product liability, auto accidents, dog bites, nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, at-work injuries and more. The firm has offices in Irvine, Riverside, Los Angeles San Diego, and San Bernardino, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.