Sometimes it can seem like stories about accidents involving injuries or fatalities are an everyday occurrence in the news. Of course we all know that car accidents occur frequently throughout the country on a daily basis, but what is the cause of all these accidents? Some in California are pointing toward what federal transportation secretary Ray LaHood called a "national epidemic": distracted drivers.
These days, especially in places like San Mateo County, automobiles, motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians all share the same roadways. This inevitably leads to some auto accidents between the various types of travelers, and more often than not it is a car hitting someone on foot or on a bike. These types of car crashes usually cause serious injury.
Many may conclude that the driver of the vehicle is at fault for an accident. In a study conducted in 2010 by the California Office of Traffic and Safety, the results showed that approximately 9 percent of drivers are talking or texting on a cell phone at any given time. While it is true that sometimes the driver had been distracted behind the wheel for various reasons, there may be other factors to consider. Are there distracted bikers and pedestrians also?
We've all seen people out running, walking or biking, all with the ever-present earbuds in place to listen to their iPods. Some have put out the idea that these individuals may carry some of the blame in accidents as well, sometimes jumping out into the road or intersections without first looking for traffic.
Previous posts here have detailed specific instances of distracted driving that have unfortunately led to serious injury or death. No matter what side of the argument our San Mateo County readers come down on, one thing is clear: all of us that share the roadways would be wise to pay a little more attention in order to avoid these types of accidents.
Source: MercuryNews.com, "Distracted driving, changing culture leading to clashes between cars and pedestrians," Rick Hurd, June 22, 2012