Personal injury attorney in Rancho Cucamonga handles distracted driving transportation accident lawsuit cases.

The Impact of Distracted Driving on Transportation Accidents in Rancho Cucamonga

Distracted driving has become a major concern in recent years, causing numerous accidents and fatalities across the United States. In Rancho Cucamonga and throughout Southern California, this issue is particularly prevalent due to the high volume of traffic and the variety of transportation modes available. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 3,500 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2021. These staggering numbers highlight the urgent need for increased awareness and preventive measures to address this growing problem.

Transportation accidents caused by distracted driving can be particularly devastating because of the size of the vehicles and the number of people that are usually involved in these types of accidents. Operators of large vehicles that carry multiple passengers have a greater responsibility to drive safely and avoid distractions that could lead to a crash.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the task of safe driving. This can include talking or texting on a phone, eating and drinking, interacting with passengers, or adjusting the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system. The CDC categorizes distractions into three types:

  • Visual distractions: taking your eyes off the road.
  • Manual distractions: taking your hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive distractions: taking your mind off driving.

Texting while driving is an especially dangerous form of distracted driving because it involves all three forms of distraction (visual, manual, and cognitive). The prevalence of smartphones in recent years and the ability to quickly send a text or another type of electronic message is a frequent temptation that all motorists have to deal with. They may think it is harmless to send a quick text, but the consequences of that small action can be catastrophic.

Imagine a driver traveling on Foothill Blvd in Rancho Cucamonga who is using their smartphone to send a text message. While the driver is distracted, an Omnitrans bus stops at a designated bus stop ahead to pick up passengers. The driver, still engaged in texting, fails to notice the stopped bus and crashes into the back of the vehicle, injuring several passengers and possibly the vehicle drivers as well. This type of scenario is an everyday danger in larger cities throughout Southern California.

Consequences of Distracted Driving Transportation Accidents

The consequences of distracted driving accidents involving larger transportation vehicles include the potential for a wide range of injuries, emotional impact on victims, legal ramifications, and financial burdens for individuals and the community.

As we talked about earlier, injuries sustained in distracted driving transportation accidents can be more severe due to the size and weight of these vehicles. Victims may suffer from traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, and internal injuries, which can lead to long-term disabilities and reduced quality of life.

The emotional impact on victims and their families is profound as they struggle to cope with the aftermath of the accident, the physical injuries, and the potential loss of loved ones. The mental health of those involved can be severely affected, leading to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other emotional challenges.

Legal ramifications for distracted drivers involved in transportation accidents can be severe as well. Drivers may face fines, license suspension, and even criminal charges in some cases, particularly if the accident results in fatalities or severe injuries.

On the civil side, a transportation accident with injuries that are caused by a distracted driver (whether that be the operator of the transportation vehicle or another motorist) is likely to result in a personal injury claim. Engaging in various forms of distraction while driving (such as sending a text message) is not only against the law in California but is also likely to be construed as negligence (or even gross negligence) during an accident injury claim. Victims and their families may seek full and fair compensation for the losses that resulted from this negligence.

The financial burden of distracted driving transportation accidents is significant for both individuals and the community at large. Medical expenses for treating injuries, rehabilitation costs, and lost income due to disabilities can place a tremendous strain on victims and their families.

What to Do If You’re Involved in a Distracted Driving Transportation Accident

If you find yourself involved in a transportation accident caused by a distracted driver in Rancho Cucamonga, it is crucial to take appropriate steps to ensure your safety and protect your rights:

Prioritize Safety

First and foremost, assess your immediate surroundings and ensure the safety of yourself and others involved in the accident. If possible, move to a safe location away from traffic and turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights.

Call Emergency Services

Dial 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if anyone is injured. It’s essential to notify the authorities as they will document the accident and create an official report.

Collect Information

Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the accident. Gather details such as names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance providers, and policy numbers. Also, take note of the make, model, and license plate numbers of the other vehicles involved.

Document the Scene

Take photos of the accident scene, capturing the position of the vehicles, any visible damage, and any relevant road or environmental conditions. These images can be crucial pieces of evidence if you need to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action. Additionally, jot down any specific details about the incident that could be relevant, such as the weather, road conditions, or any distractions that may have contributed to the accident.

Identify Witnesses

If there are any witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information. Their testimony may be valuable in determining the cause of the accident and establishing the distracted driver’s liability. Be sure to get their names, phone numbers, and a brief description of what they saw.

Report the Accident to Your Insurance Provider

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with the necessary information, including the police report number and details of the other driver’s insurance.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t have visible injuries, it is essential to seek medical attention after an accident. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent and could have long-term consequences if left untreated. Visit a nearby medical facility, such as San Antonio Regional Hospital or West Point Medical Center, for a thorough examination. Keep records of all medical treatments and expenses, as these may be necessary for insurance claims or legal proceedings.

Consult with a Legal Professional

If you have been injured or suffered significant property damage in a distracted driving transportation accident, consult with an attorney as soon as possible to have your case assessed and determine your legal rights and options.

Contact Our Seasoned Rancho Cucamonga Transportation Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a transportation accident in San Bernardino County due to distracted driving, contact the Muhareb Law Group to obtain the strong legal guidance you need. Our team of experienced attorneys will work diligently to protect your rights and secure maximum compensation for your injuries.

Call our office today at (909) 519-5832 or message us online to set up your free, no-obligation consultation and case assessment. We are ready to go to work for you!