The Los Angeles Police Department is fighting distracted driving, and with good reason. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, L.A. is the second-worst city in the country for pedestrian accident fatalities, with 99 deaths in 2012 alone. The city is also notorious for hit-and-run crashes; about 20,000 drivers flee the accident scene each year, often while their victims lay helpless, badly injured.
No doubt, distracted driving is a major contributor to these grim statistics. Despite all the evidence that using your phone while driving is dangerous, far too many Angelinos regularly drive while texting, talking or using apps on their smartphones. This makes them more likely to hit someone crossing the street, or ram another vehicle, panic, and drive off rather than render aid or wait for authorities.
The LAPD is hoping to get distracted drivers’ attention via billboards. Perhaps some of our readers have seen these signs, which carry dramatic slogans like, “Man vs. Machine… The Machine Always Wins” and reminds passing motorists that it is illegal to leave the scene of a car accident.
The PSA campaign is a partnership between the police and Clear Channel Outdoor, which owns many of the billboards in L.A., including several digital signs. Ironically, some people consider digital billboards themselves to be a distraction, and several neighborhoods have banned them. Research on whether digital signs cause traffic accidents has been “inconclusive,” Adweek says in an article about the anti-distracted driving campaign.
We are sure that our readers know better than to use their phones while driving. But if they ever get hit by a distracted driver and suffer a significant injury, they may need the help of a personal injury lawyer to get their rightful compensation.