Padilla Law Group, LLP

Did another driver's smoking habit lead to your injuries?

If you navigate California highways on a regular basis, you surely have your work cut out for you. Heavy traffic and reckless drivers may put your life at risk. It can be downright terrifying to be traveling along uneventfully and suddenly notice a car in your rear view mirror barreling up behind you, dangerously close to your bumper. You've likely also experienced what it's like to feel the gust of wind a speeding tractor-trailer causes as it passes.

Many times, drivers don't even realize you're there because they're distracted behind their wheels. If a driver in your vicinity is under age 20, he or she may be a particular risk to your safety. Inexperience and distraction, common among motorists of this age group, can be a deadly combination.

Top dangers for drivers in California and beyond

For younger, inexperienced drivers, simply having passengers in the car may be a tremendous distraction, enough to place you and all others at risk for collision. There are other potential dangers that you'll want to avoid yourself and be able to recognize in others in the hope that if you witness distracted driving nearby, you may be able to avert disaster. The following distractions often lead to serious motor vehicle accidents:

  • Using interactive devices while driving: Although some people will try to tell you that hands-free devices are safer than hand-held ones, studies show this may not be the case. Whether you're holding a cell phone or engaging in conversation by speaker, your focus may still shift from the task at hand to the person on the other end of the phone.
  • Primping in the rear view mirror: It's best to perform personal hygiene habits, such as brushing hair, applying cosmetics or trimming eyebrows or beards in your bathroom or other setting away from driving a car. 
  • Adjusting radio knobs: The driver next to you may think it harmless to search for his or her favorite song on the radio while driving; however, such behavior may place you in harm's way if he or she loses control of steering and collides with your vehicle.
  • Smoking: Choosing to smoke is a personal decision, but another person's habit should not cause you to suffer injury. Reaching for a cigarette lighter, searching for matches in a purse or glove compartment or otherwise focusing on smoking instead of driving can change lives in an instant if an accident occurs.

If you notice another driver exhibiting signs of distraction, and you are able to safely distance yourself from that vehicle, it may be better for all involved for you to do so. However, California roads are often so heavily laden with traffic that it may not be possible to avoid collision, even if you spotted the danger ahead of time.

There's no telling how long your road to recovery might be if a distracted driver causes you injury. Many accident victims are completely unprepared to meet the expenses associated with such incidents. The good thing is, state law allows you to pursue compensation for damages by filing a personal injury claim in court, which may help offset the financial burdens related to your particular situation.

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320 Encinitas Blvd
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Encinitas, CA 92024

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