Archive for the ‘Car Accidents’ Category

Feb 2015

Could Your Cell Phone Records Provide Evidence After an Irvine Rear-End Accident?

Accidents happen every day in Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, and Riverside, but many are just passing news stories that go unnoticed. When a celebrity is involved in a collision, however, it becomes major news. Just recently, for example, former Olympian and reality television star Bruce Jenner was involved in a serious motor vehicle collision that involved four vehicles and one fatality. According got ABC News, the accident was a chain-reaction collision that began after a rear-end collisioncrash-1-1406893-m

When a rear-end accident occurs, the driver in the rear vehicle is usually the one who is held responsible for causing the crash because drivers are expected to always maintain a safe distance between their car and the vehicle in front of them. Maintaining a safe distance means the driver in the rear should have time to react and stop before striking the front vehicle. However, even through the rear driver is often to blame, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be an investigation.

Phone Records Are Commonly Investigated in Rear-end Crashes

When an investigation into an accident happens, law enforcement officers generally look for many clues into the behavior of the drivers leading up to the crash. This is especially true in fatal accidents when someone is killed.

The accident involving Jenner is no exception. The Claims Journal reports that law enforcement officers have requested that all drivers involved in the accident turn over their cellphone records to the sheriff’s office. If the drivers do not cooperate and voluntarily turn over their records, then it is likely that police will subpoena them.

The goal of obtaining the records is to look at whether the phone was being used at the time when the accident happened. If the driver is found to have been on a call at the time of the crash, this can raise questions about whether the motorist was using a hands-free kit or was holding the phone. It can also raise questions about whether the driver was behaving in a responsible and safe way, or was focused on the call and not on his or her driving.

Obtaining phone records after rear-end accidents is also a very common investigatory tool in order to determine if the driver was texting at the time when the accident occurred. A driver who is texting may not see when the car in front of him has stopped, and thus may be more likely to cause a rear-end crash.

Determining if someone is texting at the time of a collision can be more difficult because there isn’t a record of all of the times the driver was looking down at the phone or typing as there is when the motorist is actually speaking on a call. However, police typically look at whether there are multiple texts spanning a period of time immediately surrounding the crash. If so, this can suggest a driver was texting at the time of the rear and accident and should perhaps be held accountable for crash losses.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 to speak with a personal injury attorney in Irvine, CA.  Serving Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside and surrounding areas.

Feb 2015

Irvine Motorists at Risk Despite Decline in Traffic Fatalities

In 2013, fewer people died in motor vehicle collisions in the United States. This is great news for people in Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside and throughout the rest of the country, but it is not necessarily as much of an accomplishment as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has claimed. The overall decline in traffic deaths also obscures the fact that there have been big increases in the number of people in certain vulnerable populations losing their lives. 

A personal injury lawyer knows that bicycle riders are now facing the greatest risk of being killed in a crash than they have for almost a decade. Further, while there was a decline in truck accident deaths and a decline in fatalities among motorcyclists, the number of people killed by trucks and killed on motorcycles still remains stubbornly high. Drivers need to be aware that even as they are hearing all about how safe the roads are, things are still far from good when it comes to crash risks.

A Closer Look at Traffic Accident Statistics

The NHTSA reports that there was a 3.1 percent reduction in the number of deadly motor vehicle accidents in 2013. A total of 32,719 people lost their lives in traffic crashes over the course of this year. The number of people injured in car crashes also declined by 2.1 percent.

Much of this decline comes from the fact that vehicle safety technology has improved. This means that lots of crashes are still happening, but technologies in cars has helped to reduce the impact that these crashes have and thus more people are able to survive them.

USA Today reports that other countries, which have focused more on improving driver behaviors rather than just making cars safer, have had far greater success than the US in bringing down their death rates.

In the Netherlands and Germany, for example, there has been an 81 percent reduction in traffic deaths since the 1970s while there has only been a 41 percent reduction in fatalities in the United States. A total of 25 other countries did a better job than the U.S. in bringing down the car accident death toll.

Bikes, motorcycles and pedestrians don’t benefit from the fact that cars have better crash protection. Unfortunately, bicyclists and walkers thus still face very high accident rates. In 2013, the number of bicycles who died in car crashes rose by 1.2 percent. 2013 saw the highest rate of bike accident fatalities since 2006. While pedestrian deaths declined in 2013, there were still 4,735 people killed while walking. This is 15 percent more pedestrian deaths than occurred in 2009. The number of motorcycle fatalities did fall this year finally. However, this was the first decline in the number of motorcyclists killed since 2009.

Until drivers actually learn to make smart decisions and be safer while operating their vehicles, thousands of fatalities will continue to occur every year across the country. No amount of technological improvements are going to prevent this.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 to speak with a personal injury attorney in Irvine, CA.  Serving Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside.

Dec 2014

What Happens if Car Sharing Drivers Cause Irvine Accidents?

Car sharing services like Uber and Lyft have become a very popular way for people to get around Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside and surrounding areas. These services can provide income to drivers and can provide a convenient and affordable means of transportation for passengers. Unfortunately, however, there are some significant risks associated with car sharing. 

In most cases when an accident happens, victims can take legal action against a negligent driver with the help of a personal injury lawyer. This is true even if the victim is a passenger in his friend’s car at the time of the incident. Insurance companies will step in and pay legal bills and cover losses when a lawsuit is filed or claim is made, because individual drivers do not typically have enough money to pay for damages. However, when the driver is operating a car-sharing service, complicated questions regarding liability can arise and insurers may not provide coverage for accident losses.

Car Sharing Services Create Liability Concerns

Forbes addressed the possible parties who could be liable in situations where a driver participating in a car-sharing service causes a collision. According to the article, “the first- and perhaps only- recourse is the driver.”

Car sharing services like Uber and Lyft have strict terms-of-service agreements that passengers have to sign that aim to shield the companies from becoming personally liable when drivers cause accidents. Further, arguments have been made that these companies are prevented from being held personally liable even in situations where a third party, like a pedestrian on the street, is hit by a driver participating in car-sharing. For example, the Communications Decency Act could protect companies from liability because they only share information about drivers and do not employ the drivers or become responsible for their actions.

If the companies are not to blame, then victims face a big problem if the driver has insufficient insurance coverage or no coverage at all. This can happen far too often, since insurance companies are reluctant to cover people who use their personal vehicles for this type of commercial purpose.

Leaked documents from Geico were recently reported on by the SF Gate. These documents show the hard line that Geico has taken when it comes to providing insurance coverage for car-sharing. The documents instruct staff to “group reject” policies of any customers involved in Uber, Lyft or similar services and they have a script for staff members to use to inform policyholders that they can either get insurance elsewhere or prove they no longer participate in car sharing. State Farm has also said it does not cover car sharing, and a spokeswoman for the Property Casualty Association of America made a blanket statement that a “private passenger auto policy isn’t intended to cover livery services.” If this is true, since this type of behavior is a “material change in the nature of the risk being insured…. most states would allow companies to cancel coverage in those situations.”

If a driver cannot obtain insurance coverage and the car sharing service is not responsible, victims will face complicated legal issues when they seek compensation after an accident with a driver who offered car sharing.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 to speak with a personal injury attorney in Irvine, CA.  Serving Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside and surrounding areas.

Nov 2014

Prevent Irvine Crashes: Remember Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

With the holiday season fast-approaching, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released an alert reminding motorists about the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol. The NHTSA stressed the importance of staying sober on holidays, and to take extra precautions in winter, which offers fewer daylight hours. The NHTSA also reminded motorists buzzed driving is drunk driving. 

Making smart choices about alcohol impairment is something you need to think about at all times throughout the year. However, some of the most dangerous days include Thanksgiving weekend, Halloween, Christmas weekend and New Year’s Eve and Day.

Many people will have just a drink or two to celebrate. However, a personal injury lawyer knows even “buzzed” driving can significantly increase the risk of a motorist becoming involved in a crash. The only way to avoid injuring yourself or others (and to avoid arrest) is to be 100 percent sure you are sober before you get behind the wheel.

Buzzed Driving is Dangerous for Motorists

Under current rules, you can drive if you have a blood-alcohol concentration below .08 percent. However, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended lowering the permissible BAC to .05 because motorists at this level are already starting to suffer the effects of alcohol impairment.

It is very difficult to know exactly when you have had too many drinks or are over the limit. This is because everyone’s body processes alcohol differently depending upon many factors, including how frequently they drink, their weight, and their gender.

The Daily Mail reported on a study determining how much alcohol motorists could actually consume before their driving was affected. Those involved in the study had different ages, weights, heights and drinking ages, and they were given different amounts of vodka until their blood alcohol levels reached the legal limit. Researchers also measured the point at which participants reached the proposed lower limit. The motorists were then tested on high-tech driving simulators.

The results were surprising because there are unpredictable differences in reactions to alcohol. For example, a slim dancer ended up needing to consume more alcohol before she was rendered unable to drive safely compared with a woman who was much heavier. This is contrary to the common belief that people who weigh more can always drink more.

Business Insider also acknowledged the unpredictability and difficulty estimating alcohol concentration. However, the article indicated that as a general matter, a 100-pound man who had one drink would have a blood-alcohol concentration of .04 percent, while a woman who had the same amount would have a blood-alcohol concentration of .05 percent. For men, the legal limit was generally hit at two drinks if they weighed 100 pounds,  three drinks if they weighed 140 pounds and four drinks if they weighed 180 pounds.

Drivers shouldn’t count on these charts to determine if they are sober enough to get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, as Young Men’s Health points out, consuming alcohol makes it harder to think clearly and to make good choices. This means once you have a drink, you may feel like you are OK to drive, even though you aren’t. The best thing to do if you know you’re going to drink is not to take a chance and just make sure you don’t have to drive.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 to speak with a personal injury attorney in Irvine, CA.  Serving Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside and surrounding areas.

Oct 2014

Preventing Irvine Pedestrian Crashes on Halloween

Many children look forward to Halloween as a time to dress up and go trick-or-treating in Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Ana, Riverside or surrounding areas. Trick-or-treating can be a fun time for all, but there are also risks. In fact, recent data from State Farm reveals that more kids die in pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other day of the year. 

Parents need to be aware of the added risk of pedestrian collisions, and should follow some safety tips to help ensure kids stay safe. If a collision happens and kids are hurt or killed, a personal injury lawyer should be consulted for help.

Pedestrian Accident Risks on Halloween

The data from State Farm on Halloween collisions is troubling. State Farm reviewed more than four million records of motor vehicle collisions from 1990 to 2010 to determine how many children are killed on October 31. According to records on collisions:

  • 115 child pedestrian fatalities occurred on Halloween over the 21 years included in the State Farm study.
  • An average of 5.5 child pedestrian fatalities happened on Halloween each year. This is more than double the average of 2.6 child pedestrian fatalities on other days of the year.
  • The most dangerous time for child pedestrian collisions was the 6:00 to 7:00 time when daylight fades and day turns to night.
  • A full 60 percent of the deadly pedestrian accidents on Halloween happened between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM.
  • More than 70 percent of the children were killed in the middle of the block, rather than the corners. Children who run out between cars are more likely to be in the middle of the block.
  • Children between the ages of 12 and 15 were the age group most likely to be killed in a pedestrian accident on Halloween. Kids in this age group accounted for 32 percent of all child fatalities.
  • Children between the ages of five and eight were the second most likely age group to be involved in a deadly pedestrian crash. Kids in this age group accounted for 23 percent of fatalities.
  • Drivers aged 15 to 25 accounted for almost 1/3 of all of the fatal pedestrian collisions that involved child pedestrian accidents on Halloween. Adults in the age groups of 30-40 and 61 to 65 were the least likely to be involved in child pedestrian collisions on Halloween.

Parents should be aware of these risks and take steps to help their kids avoid harm. Safe Kids Worldwide has provided many Halloween safety tips to reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents. For example:

  • Kids should be taught to cross the street only at corners and never in the middle of the block. Whenever possible, kids should cross at a traffic signal or on a crosswalk.
  • Kids always need to look both ways before crossing the street and while walking across.
  • Kids should walk, not run, across the street and should not use electronic devices while crossing.
  • Kids should be taught to make eye contact with drivers before going across the road.

Finally, children under 12 should trick or treat only with an adult and should not be out alone at night without adult supervision.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 to speak with a personal injury attorney in Irvine, CA. 

Aug 2014

Drowsy Driving Major Accident Risk in Orange County

According to the California Highway Patrol, more than 1,600 people were killed in drowsy driving crashes in the state of California in a single year. Driving while drowsy is obviously extremely dangerous. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that around 1,550 fatalities, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses occur each year as a direct result of drivers who cause collisions because they are drowsy. Despite the risks, more than 1/3 of people admit to falling asleep behind the wheel and around 60 percent of adult drivers said they’ve driven drowsy over the course of the past year. 

The risks of drowsy driving have become more well publicized, but motorists are not changing their behavior. If you or a loved one is involved in a collision with a fatigued driver, you need to pursue a claim for compensation. A personal injury lawyer can help.

Drowsy Driving is the #1 Problem for Motorists

According to CheatSheet, 60 percent of drivers responding to recent surveys said they believe drowsy driving should be illegal. The behavior is currently illegal only in Arkansas, which charges fatigued motorists with negligent homicides for causing fatalities, and in New Jersey, which classifies drowsy driving as reckless driving.

Although most drivers think drowsy driving should be illegal, the majority are doing it anyway. A recent survey of 2,000 drivers conducted by asked drivers about the times that they drove when they knew that it was not safe for them to do so. A total of 68 percent of the drivers who drive when it wasn’t safe said that they were sleepy at the time when they drove when they shouldn’t. This was higher than any other reason for unsafe driving, including intoxicated driving or driving while feeling sick.

It comes as no surprise that so many people are driving fatigued when considering how little sleep people are getting. The National Sleep Foundation reports that 29 percent of people get less than six hours of sleep and 41.31 percent get between six and seven hours of sleep. Only 21.48 percent of survey respondents got between seven and eight hours of sleep a night, and 8.21 percent got more than eight hours.

Psych Central says that the majority of adults require between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. Well over half of the adult population may not be getting this on a regular basis. Getting an insufficient amount of sleep creates a “sleep debt” and “eventually your body will demand that the debt be repaid.”

Getting too little sleep can slow reaction times and have a similar effect of being drunk, even if you do not doze off while driving. Some motorists actually close their eyes and fall asleep. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that sleeping drivers are likely to become involved in head-on collisions, read-end accidents and road-departure crashes.

Drivers need to understand the risks and make informed choices. Most people know drowsy driving is dangerous and they need to act on this knowledge and avoid getting behind the wheel when they are too fatigued to drive safely.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 to schedule a consultation. 

Jul 2014

What is Causing Deadly Orange County Bike Accidents?

A bicycle rider was killed this July while riding downhill on a bike trail at Morelia Way. The Orange County coroner identified the bicyclist as a 19-year-old Anaheim man. According to the OC Register, he slid into the intersection when trying to brake, crashing into a vehicle that had been traveling east. Alcohol or drugs do not appear to have played a role in the collision and the accident is still under investigation. 

Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are common in Orange County and throughout California. Some are the fault of bicycle riders or problems with bikes, but many more are caused by dangerous drivers. Victims of bicycle collisions should consult with a personal injury attorney for help determining who is to blame and pursuing a damage claim.

Top Causes of Bicycle Crashes

The League of American Bicyclists recently published a comprehensive report on the top causes of bicycle rider deaths. The report is called Every Bicyclist Counts.

To determine the reasons for bike fatalities, data was collected from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on collisions that occurred between February of 2011 and February of 2013. Details from NHTSA crash records were supplemented by information from newspaper reports about the accidents and the data was analyzed to provide a comprehensive overview of the causes of bicycle rider deaths.

There were a total of 628 fatalities included in the analysis and the vast majority were considered to be the fault of the driver. Only 94 deaths were caused by the bicycle rider.

Most of the fatalities occurred due to:

  • Drivers being careless behind the wheel
  • Hit-and-run accidents
  • Drivers who were intoxicated at the time of the collision

In total, around 40 percent of bicycle rider deaths occurred in accidents where the rider was hit-from-behind. This is not a common type of collision according to Outside Online, as most bike accidents occur when drivers sideswipe bicyclists. In addition to hit-from-behind collisions:

  • Approximately 10 percent of the bicyclist deaths occurred in T-bone accidents.
  • Eight percent of bicyclist deaths happened in head-on collisions.
  • Six percent of fatalities occurred in right-hook wrecks.
  • Drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to bicyclists was the cause of six percent of fatalities.
  • Sideswipe accidents were responsible for four percent of fatal crashes.
  • Two percent of the collisions resulted from a bicycle rider failing to yield.

In 33 of the collisions involved in the study, there were no listed causes for the collision. In another 146 of the studied accidents, it was not possible to determine the specific cause of the bicyclist fatality.

Although drivers were responsible for the majority of deaths, the report also showed that most do not face criminal consequences. Although 238 of the fatal collisions likely involved reckless driving, the driver faced some type of criminal sentence in only 12 percent of total accidents. Civil lawsuits brought by surviving family members of bicycle riders who are killed as a separate legal matter from any criminal proceedings that might occur after a deadly accident.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707, or visit to schedule a consultation. 

Jun 2014

Are Personal Freedoms Increasing the Risk of Motor Vehicle Accidents in CA?

In Britain, fewer than 2,000 people die in motor vehicle collisions each year. In the United States, the death toll is much higher, with more than 30,000 fatalities each year. While the U.S. death toll declined each year since 2005, this was likely a result of people driving less due to a poor economy rather than because of any improvements in overall safety. The fact that the number of fatalities rose in 2012 as the economy started to come back means that more people each year may continue to lose their lives. 

It is true that the United States has a larger population than Britain, and that Americans tend to drive more often and for longer distances. However, these factors only explain a small part of the massive discrepancy between the death rate in collisions in the U.K. versus the United States. Recently, the Telegraph reported that one possible reason for the high death rate in the U.S. may be a focus on personal rights that trumps collective responsibility to improve safety.

While individual rights and personal responsibility are cornerstones of the American ideal, people in the U.S. still have an obligation to respect others. Drivers, for example, must obey the rules of the road and must take reasonable steps to avoid injuring other motorists. If a driver fails to do this, an accident attorney in Irvine at the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton can help.

U.S. Streets Much More Dangerous Than Roads in Europe

After accounting for population differences between Britain and the United States, drivers in the U.S. have approximately three times higher risk of becoming involved in a collision as motorists on British roadways. Even when adjusting for the extra amount of time Americans spend in their cars, there is still a major discrepancy. The International Transport Forum, for example, has reported that there were 3.9 people killed per billion vehicle kilometers driven in Britain in 2011 while there were 6.8 Americans killed per billion vehicle kilometers driven in the United States during the same time period.

The Telegraph indicates that the higher death rate may be because drivers are resistant to laws that focus on safety over protecting personal rights. This includes laws banning cell phone use, requiring the use of seat belts, and requiring the use of motorcycle helmets. In 16 states, for example, seat belt violations are secondary offenses so drivers can’t be pulled over for not wearing one unless they also commit another offense. There has also been strong pushback about the prevention of distracted driving accidents through cell phone bans, and just 12 states have imposed a total ban on cell phone use while driving.

If laws do not make drivers in the U.S. do the right thing, motorists will need to make responsible choices on their own initiative. If they fail to do so, victims who are harmed in resulting crashes will need to pursue a damage claim to hold careless drivers accountable for the damages and losses that they cause.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707, or visit to schedule a consultation. 

Apr 2014

Irvine Injury Lawyers Best Counsel After Traffic Accident

Do I need an Irvine car accident attorney?

It’s a question we most often hear. What if it’s a “minor” accident and everyone is “fine?”

We point to the old adage about the definition of “minor injuries” being injuries that don’t happen to you.

Most traffic accidents are complex matters. April is both Alcohol Awareness Month and Distracted Driving Awareness Month, two of the driving behaviors most likely to result in a serious or fatal traffic collision. Each year in California, about 3,000 motorists are killed in auto accidents. The California Highway Patrol reports 128 people were killed in Orange County traffic accidents in 2011. More than 13,500 motorists were injured that year in Orange County – that’s 37 people a day!

In many cases, determining the causes of your traffic collision can make all the difference t0 your ability to seek compensation. Evidence of distracted driving or an unsafe vehicle may only be captured in the moment. Issues involving third-party liability, like obstructions in the road, overgrown vegetation other dangerous conditions, may only be readily apparent at the time of the collision, and may even be quickly repaired in response to an incident.

Then too, you must carefully consider your definition of “minor injuries,” particularly if you are relying upon self-diagnosis. Certain back and joint injuries may take weeks or even months to become apparent. Even soft-tissue injuries like whiplash and very serious conditions such as traumatic brain injuries or nerve damage may not be readily apparent in the immediate aftermath of a traffic collision. Yet whether your medical costs are covered, and whether you receive compensation for lost wages and other damages, will be directly impacted by whether you seek experienced legal counsel.

The Statute of Limitations is two years for a negligence or wrongful death lawsuit in California. A potential claimant loses the right to collect damages or other relief once 24 months has passed from the time of the accident.

In some cases we find an injury victim did not seek legal advice at the outset because he or she felt partially responsible for the incident. Those claimants should understand that California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means even in cases where a plaintiff is found to be at some degree of fault, he or she can still recover damages to the extent a defendant is found to be to blame.

Thus, delay is what is most likely to be damaging to your claim. Like work injuries or other insurance claims, your best course of action is to properly document the incident in the immediate aftermath before seeking experienced legal and medical advice. Law firms focused on personal injury and wrongful death litigation typically handle such cases on a contingency-fee basis. This gives plaintiff’s access to experienced legal counsel in exchange for payment at case settlement or resolution. To not avail yourself of free legal advice is not typically the best move in the aftermath of an auto accident.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707, or visit 19700 Fairchild, Suite 280, Irvine, CA 92612.

Apr 2014

Irvine Traffic Accidents Fault of Distracted, Careless Drivers

Distracted driving has become a serious concern, with 3,331 people losing their lives and another 387,000 suffering injuries in 2011 because of distracted drivers. Numerous efforts have been made to discourage drivers from distraction, with limited success. Even in California, which has some of the strictest anti-texting laws in the nation, the texting rate reportedly has not declined. 

Texting bans are notoriously hard to enforce, so a lot of focus is on public education. Unfortunately, campaigns by AT&T, Allstate, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and State Farm Insurance have seem limited effectiveness. Understanding the reasons for failures is essential in finding better solutions. It is also important to accurately understand the extent of the problem, which experts are not currently measuring correctly.

Until better methods of preventing distracted driving are identified, collisions are likely to continue to cause thousands of injuries and fatalities. Experienced accident attorneys in Irvine can help accident victims to understand their rights.

Distracted Driving Campaigns Lack Effectiveness

A study on the effectiveness of road safety campaigns revealed that mass media public education campaigns have “virtually no effect” in reducing the risk of accidents unless the campaign is also accompanied by an enforcement campaign. However, when combined with active enforcement from local and state police, public education efforts can have as much as a 10 percent reduction in accidents.

A study of an anti-drunk driving program, Checkpoint Strikeforce, also lent credence to the theory that both publicity and enforcement are necessary.  In that campaign, there were too few sobriety checkpoints to raise public perceptions of risks associated with driving while impaired and inadequate publicity surrounding the campaign to prevent drunk driving.

While Checkpoint Strikeforce may not have been a success, campaigns against drunk driving have, overall, had a much more significant impact in reducing fatalities than anti-distracted driving campaigns. There are several possibilities for why this is the case.

First and foremost, drunk-driving campaigns went into full force at a time when it was easier to reach broad segments of the population.  Limited broadcasting networks (there were just three when the largest anti-drunk driving campaigns started in 1988) allowed for many people to be reached using prime time television advertisements. Today, the American public gets its news and entertainment from many different sources, so a successful campaign would require finding new and innovative ways to reach audience.

The anti-drunk driving campaigns also had a clear and positive message that asked motorists to make only a minor change in behavior. Most campaigns targeting drunk driving don’t suggest that drivers refrain from drinking altogether, but instead simply suggest that people have a designated driver. This is empowering, compared to the distracted driving storylines used in major Hollywood productions, which help make the idea of distracted driving “cool.”

Today, there are no such equivalent campaigns for distracted driving.  The true risks of distracted driving aren’t even understood by the experts as many convictions for distracted driving are instead described as “careless driving” convictions.

Without clear enforcement and a positive message providing a good reason for drivers not to drive while distracted, safety campaigns are likely to remain ineffective at solving this serious public health threat.

Accident attorneys in Irvine can help after a collision. Contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton today at (949) 757-0707 to schedule a free consultation.