Police continue to investigate a deadly car accident that occurred earlier this week in Lodi, which is a city located 35 miles south of Sacramento. According to early reports by the Associated Press, police are looking into whether the man that caused the tragic accident may have been speeding and on his cellphone just moments before the accident. In fact, the witnesses claim that the man, who was driving an SUV, may be been going almost 90 mph just before the accident, according to the L.A. Times.
In total, the five-car accident resulted in the deaths of five individuals - three siblings, their father and pregnant mother - with six more additional victims being sent to the hospital. Police are currently considering the accident a criminal matter.
Although the investigation will likely continue for some time, if reports of cellphone use prove to be true, the accident is merely the latest example of how drivers on cellphones are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road. Sadly, California car accidents involving these types of distracted drivers not only risk causing severe injuries, but death as well.
California laws pertaining to cellphone use while driving
Under current California law, it is actually illegal for motorists in the Golden State to talk on their cellphones while driving a motor vehicle, unless, of course, the cellphone is being used in a hands-free manner. Additionally, California motorists are prohibited from writing, sending or reading text messages while driving - although a similar hands-free exception applies when cellphones are designed to allow voice-operation to "dictate, send or listen" to text messages.
When it comes to drivers under the age of 18 years, California law has a blanket ban on all cellphone use while driving, even if the cellphone is equipped with hands-free technology. However, it should be noted that because of how California lawmakers originally drafted the hands-free exemption for texting while driving, there was a loophole that allowed young drivers to text hands-free while behind the wheel - a loophole that has since been closed.
Unfortunately, many California drivers continue to ignore these cellphone laws, and cause severe car accidents in the process. Those injured by these distracted drivers need to know that remedies may exist to compensate them for their damages, which can include medical expenses and lost wages.
Accordingly, if you or a loved one has been injured by a driver who was too distracted by his or her cellphone to look up at the road, it is often best to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney. A skilled attorney can review the facts of your accident and help determine what your rights and options may be given your particular situation.