Most people are well aware of the dangers of driving under the influence in Los Angeles. However, alcohol intoxication appears to be just one of many factors that predispose drivers to hurt themselves and others.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly a quarter of the 6+ million car accidents reported every year in the U.S. can be traced back to driver distraction. The NHTSA, in conjunction with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the American Automobile Association (AAA), and other foundations and organizations have conducted extensive studies to determine key distracting factors. They found that common distractions include:
• Eating in the car
• Changing the radio or CD player
• Talking/interacting with other passengers
• Grooming/application of makeup
• Texting/cell phone use
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) also analyzed what causes driver distractions. These scientists examined 2,700 crashes and found that the number one distraction was rubbernecking — which caused 16% of the accidents in the study. Driver fatigue accounted for 12%. “Looking at scenery or landmarks” accounted for 10%. Passenger distractions caused 9%. Changing a radio station or CD caused 7%. Cell phone use caused 5%. Failure to keep “eyes on the road” caused 4.5%. Daydreaming lead to 4%, as did eating and drinking; and adjusting car controls. Distracting weather conditions; medical/emotional problems; “unknowns”; animal distractions; and problems with directions/maps accounted for the other 10% of crashes.
As a reputable Southern California DUI attorney would readily admit, just because an array of factors can distract drivers doesn’t exculpate people who take to Los Angeles’ freeways and surface streets while clearly impaired. However, the sheer diversity of possible distractions provides a sobering reminder of the scope of driver fallibility. In other words, to clamp down on unnecessary deaths, injuries, and property damage, we need to do more than just set up DUI checkpoints and hope for the best. We need to launch a broader campaign to get people to pay closer attention to the task of driving and to disincentivize people from engaging in behaviors that studies show increase risk for accidents and injuries.
Many symptoms of Southern California DUI parallel behaviors of distracted individuals. For instance: incoherent speech, poor motor skills, fumbling, and inattentive/incoherent verbal responses afflict both inattentive drivers and drivers operating under the influence of alcohol.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a Los Angeles DUI, connect today with the attorneys here at Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Attorney Michael Kraut spent many years in the trenches working for the city of Los Angeles on the prosecutorial side prior to switching over to representing defendants. He utilizes his wealth of expertise about how the prosecution operates to build strategically focused, results-oriented investigations. And as a Harvard Law School graduate, Attorney Kraut has the credentials to help you and your family get good results.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.