Both a recent study and tragic accident are showing that distracted driving is a problem in California’s school zones.

Recent accident involving two high school girls highlights seriousness of problem

A recent study by the Allstate Foundation has found that distracted driving is a serious problem around California’s schools, according to the Central Valley Business Times. Although one would expect that drivers would be more careful around school zones, in a single hour students at 80 intersections recorded over 8,000 cases of distracted driving throughout California. The severity of the issue was also made clear by a recent accident involving two girls walking to school who were hit by a distracted driver.

Thousands of distracted drivers

The Allstate Foundation asked students at schools throughout California to monitor 80 intersections in school zones for one hour and to observe and record all examples of distracted driving. While the study did not take traffic volume into account, the results are nonetheless chilling.

In total, students recorded more than 8,000 incidents of distracted driving within a single hour. The biggest culprit was cellphone use, which accounted for more than 3,000 incidents, followed by eating or drinking, and personal grooming. Students also noted some unusual, and particularly dangerous, examples of distracted driving, including one driver brushing her teeth and pets riding on the dashboard.

Accident injures two girls

The seriousness of distracted driving, especially in school zones, was highlighted by a recent accident in Bakersfield. According to KBAK/KBFX, two girls, aged 16 and 17, who were on their way to school were struck by a driver at a crosswalk. The driver admitted that she was distracted while looking for her keys in her car. The girls suffered serious injuries, with one of the victims reported being in critical condition.

The accident serves as a reminder for drivers to keep their attention on the road while driving, especially when schoolchildren are around. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving led to more than 3,300 fatalities in the U.S. in 2012.

Distracted driving

As the above article illustrates, when drivers take their eyes off the road even for just a few seconds, tragedy can ensue. It is important for drivers to be constantly aware of their surroundings so that other drivers and pedestrians will not be put in harm’s way. Unfortunately, far too many drivers continue to disregard the safety of others by engaging in behavior that is not only distracting, but potentially lethal.

Anybody who has been injured by a distracted driver should contact a qualified personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney can help clients determine what legal rights they have and whether a case for compensation can be pursued against a potentially negligent or reckless driver.