Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 9, 2014 — Many grey haired seniors are just as texting savvy as today’s younger crowd. They are just as much at risk for death by distracted driving as well.
“Even though it seems it is only the teens that are texting while driving, this is not the case,” says well-respected Sacramento injury lawyer Deborah Barron. “Look again when you are driving. It isn’t just hip hop teens driving with their heads down. Many of those bobbing heads also belong to seniors.”
Staying connected while on the road is seemingly not just a teen thing. And furthermore, it is not just texting that is becoming the issue with older Americans. In July 2013 State Farm insurance conducted a smartphone owner survey. Shockingly, the results revealed a significant hike in the number of drivers, 30-years of age and older, who used phones while driving. What the numbers also demonstrated was that the percentage of drivers who are webbing, or surfing the Internet, while behind the wheel of a vehicle has nearly doubled in the past five years. It was 13 percent in 2009. In 2013, that number hit 24 percent.
“Evidently, hands-free cell phone use has also increased over using handheld phones. Really, it’s a difference without a distinction,” Barron indicates, “as no matter whether the phone is hands-free or handheld, it is all a distraction, a potentially deadly one. Bluetooth connections via the steering wheel may be technologically innovative, but they still distract a driver’s brain. A distracted brain does not pay attention to what is going on around it.”
While the current focus in the law enforcement and insurance sectors is the drive to reduce or eliminate mobile phone use, the problem is much broader in scope. It is not just texting while driving that kills. It is the growing proliferation and use of multiple mobile web services while driving. The 18 to 29-year-old demographic make up 86 percent of drivers with smartphones. “However, the other side of that coin is that drivers ranging in age from 50 to 64 also have mobile devices and drivers over the age of 65 represent 39 percent of the population that use technology on the go. Distracted driving combined with age related health issues is a recipe for an accident,” points out Barron.
Texting while driving is negligent. “If you have been involved in an accident in which the other driver was texting while driving, or using some other type of electronic gadget, you have the right to file a lawsuit demanding compensation for your injuries,” Barron says.