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Distracted Driver Caused Fatal Car Accident, Officials Say


A 27-year-old driver sustained fatal injuries in a car accident after colliding head-on with another vehicle in Santa Barbara County, the afternoon of December 18, 2009. According to a KCOY news report, the fatal car collision involved a gray Acura and a Nissan SUV. The driver of the Nissan was taken to an area hospital with injuries. However, the driver of the Acura died. This fatal car accident may have been due to one of the drivers using a cell phone at the time of the crash, California Highway Patrol officials said.

I offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved the deceased victim. Please keep them in your prayers. I also hope that the injured victim recovers quickly and completely.

Accidents Involving Distracted Drivers

A federal study reports that the most common driving distractions that lead to accidents are cell phone use or texting, reaching for a moving object inside the vehicle, eating, reading or applying makeup. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that 80 percent of car accidents and 65 percent of near car accidents involve distracted drivers. And usually these distractions take place barely within three seconds of a crash.

California Laws and Liability Issues

This news report does not have much information about who caused the crash. We do not know which one of the drivers was using a cell phone at the time of the crash. In cases where negligent drivers cause accidents, they can be held liable for injuries caused to the other parties or for wrongful death. In cases where someone is responding to a work e-mail or taking a work call, the employer may be held liable as well.

Talking on a hand-held cell phone and texting are illegal under California law. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23123 (a): “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.”

An experienced California personal injury lawyer will be able to help victims and their families understand and interpret these relatively new laws, and determine whether there was any negligence or wrongdoing involved. In cases where there is negligence, families of deceased car accident victims may file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover funeral expenses, lost earnings and other related damages.

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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