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Bakersfield bicyclist killed by allegedly distracted driver

Many in Long Beach are unaware of this fact, but anytime that their undivided attention is pulled away from the road can be qualified as distracted driving. Even in those times when one may be using a hands-free device to make a phone call, studies have shown that their attention is split equally as if they were using a hand-held phone. When one is distracted, his or her reaction time is hindered, which may result in an accident if they encounter obstacles on the road. If they are determined to be the cause of that accident, they may be subject to criminal charges, as well as legal action from those whom they may have injured.

Such is the case with a Bakersfield woman currently facing a misdemeanor charge of manslaughter after she struck and killed a bicyclist with her car. The woman was talking on a hands-free device at the time, which is allowed under California law. However, even though her using the device hasn’t been cited as the cause of the accident, authorities believe they have sufficient evidence to charge her for causing the man’s death.

For a bicyclist, a distracted driver can be their worst enemy on the road. The lack of protection that they have from injury should they be involved in a bike accident with a car often won’t allow them to simply walk away like most of the drivers do. These accidents often result in serious injuries or death. Those injured in such accidents by distracted or negligent drivers may wish to seek compensation for their injuries with the help of a personal injury attorney. 

Source: KERO-TV 23 “Ashley Bell charged after hitting, killing bicyclist using hands-free device” Anne Stegen and Carlos Correa, Dec. 11, 2013

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