Would You Risk Reading While Driving?

reading while drivingMany drivers consider their time behind the wheel as an opportunity to make phone calls and send text messages. Maybe you have even found yourself guilty of this at one time or another.

You think to yourself that it will only take a second. How about five seconds? That’s the minimum amount of time your attention is taken off the road while text and drive.

Distracted driving can be dangerous to you and those around you.

Even though it sounds unbelievable, reading while driving is more common than many people think. This behavior is a dangerous distraction and can increase the driver’s chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident by three times.

Reading maps occurs when the driver is looking for an address, is lost or is confused in an unfamiliar area. The physical act of reading the map, combined with mental and emotional distress creates a dangerous driving distraction for the driver and for anyone nearby.

If you’re a driver and you need to consult a map or directions, why not pull over in a safe place? This will also give you time to orient yourself to your surroundings before continuing your trip. Or, let your passengers read the map; let them be your navigator.

Sitting in heavy traffic is not an excuse to read a book or a newspaper. Don’t be tempted to do this regardless of how heavy the traffic is. If you must read a book, why not purchase the book on CD? Being behind the wheel is not a place to read a book, newspaper, text message or map. It’s a place to concentrate on your surroundings and the vehicles around you.

With that said, did you hear about the Fresno man who challenged a $165 ticket for using his cellphone while stuck in traffic? Apparently, he was looking at his maps application on his cellphone for an alternate route when he was caught up by road work on the freeway. A California Highway Patrol officer on a motorcycle spotted him and stopped him to write the ticket.

The man fought the ticket and he won his challenge – a California judge in the 5th District Court of Appeals ruled that drivers can read maps on cellphones while driving. The appellate judges said, “California law prohibiting people from talking on their cellphones without a hands-free device could have been written more clearly, but it doesn’t apply to looking at maps on cellphones”.

Just so you know – the ticket is received applies specifically to people listening and talking on cellphones, not using their mobile phone in other ways.

What happens when a distracted driver who is dialing a phone or sending a text message slams into you causing serious injury to you or someone you care about? As a result of their careless decision, you are left injured, worried, and confused. You may have to take time off from your job; your medical bills may start piling up.

To get answers to your questions, call the San Bernardino personal injury law offices of Welebir Law for the answers and compensation you deserve.


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