Woman on her phone in her car.

The Real Cost Of Distracted Driving

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Busy lifestyles, limited time, and a pension for multi-tasking are all factors leading to diverted attention while driving. On congested California roadways, this is a recipe for disaster. 

California car accident attorneys want you to know that distracted driving results in measurable and immeasurable costs, extending beyond the immediate financial loss and expenses of a car crash. 

By understanding the factors and real costs associated with distracted driving, we can all make better choices about our behaviors when behind the wheel. 

What is Distracted Driving?

Any time you aren’t giving your full attention to the road and surrounding traffic, you are driving distracted, risking your safety and the safety of others. 

3 Types of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving results in nearly 30 percent of all vehicle accidents annually, causing bodily injuries and fatalities to vehicle occupants and pedestrians.

According to the NHTSA, there are three types of distracted driving:

  • Cognitive distraction: a driver’s mind wanders from the task of driving, perhaps to daydreams or thoughts of troubles or work matters
  • Manual distraction: a driver removes their hands from the steering wheel, reaching for or attending to something else in the vehicle
  • Visual distraction: a driver looks away from the road, generally toward an outside distraction or a text message


Many actions divert all three categories of a driver’s attention at one time. Texting from a cell phone, retrieving something from the glove box, or attending to a child or pet can easily redirect the driver’s eyes, hands, and mind all in one quick instant, increasing the risk of a car wreck.  

The Consequences and Costs of Distracted Driving

There are many dangerous and life-threatening injuries that can occur from distracted driving accidents. Some of the more common and life-altering include:

  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Fatality

Added to the risks of injury and fatality is a realized annual loss of nearly $200 billion in physical and “societal harm.” Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration detail the economic and comprehensive components affected by distracted driving: 

  • Property damage
  • Emergency response and medical costs
  • Market productivity
  • Insurance rates
  • Legal resources
  • Roadway and highway services
  • Congestion
  • Added fuel costs
  • Income loss
  • Workplace adjustments
  • Quality of life 

In total consideration of injury and economic harm, a more global impact of distracted driving begins to take shape. 

A Commitment Against Distracted Driving

Unless someone has been personally injured or lost a loved one due to another’s inattention on the road, the tremendous toll exacted by distracted drivers often goes unnoticed. Understanding the far-reaching consequences of distracted driving provides a starting point for each of us to create change and minimize inattention while driving. 

We must operate from the perspective that personal involvement in an injury accident isn’t the only negative to distracted driving. Instead, the substantial economic loss and reduced quality of life should be a concern to us all.  

Commit today to never driving distracted. Place your cell phone on do-not-disturb, park to eat your on-the-go meal, and secure children and pets in safety restraints before driving. A few modifications can help reduce distracted driving accidents, saving lives and minimizing the expense to your community. 

Hit by a Distracted Driver? Call a Car Accident Attorney.

If you’ve been in a California car accident involving a distracted driver, there is help available.  

Personal injury attorneys specializing in car wrecks are your best resource when determining negligence and liability and when figuring out how much compensation you deserve. 

For information about liability and processing a car crash claim in California, contact one of our experienced California car accident attorneys today

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.