CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

CHP Awarded Grant to Target Adult Distracted Drivers

adult distracted driversAdult Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving results in car crashes and the deaths of thousands of Americans every year.  It can truly be a life-altering choice to give your attention to something other than driving.  To combat the problem, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has kicked off a year-long Adult Distracted Drivers campaign designed to promote safety on California roads through enforcement and education.  Funding for the program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), which operates under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

CHP Commissioner, Warren Stanley, states that distracted driving is entirely avoidable yet continues to be a serious problem on state roads.  He hopes that with the support of the grant, lifesaving efforts to raise awareness and hopefully change dangerous driver behaviors can be implemented throughout California.

Implementation of the Grant Program

Throughout the state, CHP officers will orchestrate in-person presentations and use virtual or internet-based platforms to put on safety seminars illustrating the dangers of distracted driving.  Additionally, the agency will be conducting several distracted driving enforcement efforts that will continue through the end of September 2021.

Addressing A Widespread Problem

Yearly, there are more than 20,000 California car crashes that are caused, at least in part, by driver inattention.  The CHP Commissioner noted that these statistics are likely under-reported and that the true number is probably much higher.  This is because drivers do not self-report inattention to investigating officers.

Why are Distractions So Dangerous?

Multi-tasking behind the wheel takes cognitive function away from what should be the primary task - driving.  Diverting concentration to other areas puts extra demands on the vehicle operator, which can often result in tragic consequences.

Using a mobile device behind the wheel is a violation of the California Vehicle Code.  Despite that, it continues to be the main source of driver diversion.  Drivers should limit cell phone usage in the vehicle to hands-free mode only and only use when absolutely necessary.  

Though not against the law, activities such as monitoring your navigation system and eating while driving are other examples of activities that result in distracted driving.  Essentially there are three ways in which your attention can be pulled from the road:

  • Visual: Taking your eyes away from the road - to look at a text, or to sightsee, for example.  
  • Manual: Taking one or both of your hands off the wheel - again, texting is a big culprit here, but so is eating, reaching for a handbag, or trying to retrieve an object from the glove compartment.
  • Cognitive: This refers to taking your concentration elsewhere.  Highway hypnosis is an example of this, where your focus dulls after long hours on the highway.  Listening to an engrossing podcast or engaging in a heated hands-free phone conversation can all divert your attention from navigating the highway with the benefit of your full concentration.

Watch the YouTube video.  Here's a news clip highlighting one of the many efforts made by the CHP over the years to crack down on adult distracted drivers in our region.

Sacramento, Californi Personal Injury Lawyer

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