Everyone knows that taking attention off the road at any time when driving is a recipe for disaster. Even a second looking away from the road means there is a large distance that you’re not looking at what’s happening in front of you.

Since people know that there are dangers on the road that they should be on the lookout for, it might be surprising to find out that more people are using their phones while driving in California than in the past. It’s been reported that around one in 10 drivers were texting, talking on their phones, fumbling on their phones or calling others while driving.

Is that a realistic estimate for how many people are really distracted and using their phones behind the wheel? The state Office of Traffic Safety thinks the estimate should be closer to one in five. Since research is done by looking into cars as they pass, it’s easy to miscalculate and underestimate the number of phones actually being used.

There is a statewide ban on hand-held phone use and texting while driving, but this doesn’t put off some drivers. Those who do use their phones illegally when they drive can face charges, fines and penalties, but more seriously, those drivers are putting others and themselves at risk of serious injury.

In 2013, for instance, there were 3,154 people killed due to distractions caused by technology around the United States. It’s estimated that the number in California is between 300 and 400 people. If you or a loved one is injured or you lose a loved one in a distracted driving collision, you can reach out for help. Our website has more information on the steps you can take to be compensated.