The Dangers of Distracted DrivingLast updated on: April 16, 2018
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Many dangers and hazards may be encountered while driving, such as inclement weather, poor road conditions, and heavy traffic; drivers must therefore take special care at all times to ensure they are able to safely reach their destination. However, adding to the many other hazards that may be present on the highway, distracted driving is a completely avoidable danger that has been on the rise. Drivers who are distracted often cause accidents that may have been avoided if the driver had been paying proper attention.
If you have been injured in a car accident involving someone who was distracted while they were driving, you should contact Zinda Law Group today by calling (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING?
Distracted driving is a serious problem for today’s motorists. Any time a driver fails to pay proper attention to the road due to being otherwise occupied, they are driving while distracted. Using mobile devices to read and send text messages is most commonly associated with distracted driving; however, distracted driving is not limited to mobile device usage, as any behavior that takes your attention off the road may result in distracted driving.
Unfortunately, the cause of many car accidents may sometimes be difficult to prove, especially when the driver was distracted, as a case may come down to the credibility of the other driver who will likely deny being distracted. As a result, hiring a skilled car accident lawyer can be crucial to proving your case.
Common causes of Distracted Driving
A driver may become distracted through a variety of ways, such as because the driver was:
- Using a cellular or mobile device to read or send text messages, browse the web, or watch videos
- Adjusting radio settings
- Adjusting air conditioning or heater settings
- Eating while driving
- Interacting with passengers
If you have been injured in a car accident, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you determine if distracted driving may have caused the accident. Proving a driver was driving while distracted can be complicated, depending on the particular facts of your case. A skilled injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group will be able to use his or her years of experience helping other car accident victims pursue compensation to conduct a thorough investigation gathering crucial evidence to support your case, such as phone records to help substantiate your claim.
DANGERS OF DISTRACTED DRIVING
Driving while distracted can be dangerous, even deadly. In 2019, distracted driving resulted in over 3000 deaths in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When simply driving 55 miles per hour—a common speed limit on many roads across the United States—taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can result in traveling the length of a football field without noticing.
Distracted driving can seriously impede a driver’s ability to recognize and react to emerging dangers. During 2019, 15 percent of car accidents reported were caused by distracted driving, while 9 percent of fatal car accidents were caused by distracted driving; these accidents resulted in an estimated 424,000 injuries. Use of cellphones while driving is highest among younger drivers, with 15 to 20-year-olds representing 19 percent of distracted drivers using phones, and 21 to 24-year-olds representing 21 percent of distracted drivers on phones.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents, including ones caused by distracted drivers, cause many serious injuries, and in some cases have resulted in the victim’s death. When you survive such a crash, injuries caused by the car accident may leave you unable to work, with mounting medical bills even as you lose your flow of income. Some injuries may require extensive, long-term rehabilitation to fully recover from.
Many common injuries that may be suffered in a car accident include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Neck Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Broken Bones
- Lacerations and Contusions
- Internal Injuries
DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS
Laws regarding the use of cell phones while driving vary from state to state. Many states prohibit teens and novice drivers from using cell phones at all while driving, and 47 states prohibit texting while driving by all drivers. Some states also prohibit the use of handheld devices, though the use of hands-free utilities, such as Bluetooth, with these devices is typically permitted.
Proving the other driver was distracted
While we know distracted driving does occur, and may increase the possibility of an accident, it can be difficult to prove the other driver was distracted at the time of the accident. Much of the information available regarding distracted driving relies on self-reporting and estimations, meaning the actual numbers surrounding accidents caused by distracted drivers may be even higher. If you are injured in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you may need to be able to prove the at-fault driver was driving while distracted in order to obtain the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
An experienced injury attorney will be able to help you to gather the evidence you need to prove distracted driving was responsible for your accident. Indeed, once hired, your car accident attorney will examine cell phone records, eye-witness accounts, surveillance footage, and statements by law enforcement who responded to the accident to help provide substantiating evidence that the at-fault driver was distracted. In some cases, it may be necessary for your accident attorney to secure the services of an accident reconstruction expert, who will use clues found at the scene of the accident in conjunction with phone records to prove that the at-fault driver was using their phone to send a message while driving, and was therefore likely distracted at the time of the accident.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
Car accidents are often chaotic, as one second everything is fine before you suddenly find yourself being violently jerked around during the moments of collision. It can be difficult to keep a clear head and make complex decisions in the aftermath of a collision. However, there are some steps you should always attempt to take, if possible, after an accident; these include:
Seeking Medical Attention
The first step you should generally do after an accident is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Ensuring that any injuries you or your passengers may have suffered are quickly diagnosed and treated is of paramount importance. Even if you do not have any immediately obvious or visible injuries, you should still get checked out by a physician.
Car accidents are traumatic events, and this may cause your body to release adrenaline, which can mask pain for a brief time, concealing the existence of injuries immediately after an accident. Some injuries, like internal injuries, may not have any external symptoms immediately afterwards, but present a serious danger if not treated promptly. Diagnosis and treatment of your injuries as soon as possible after an accident occurs will also help you to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
Once you have sought any necessary medical attention, you should also attempt to gather and document as much evidence as possible. Photographs or video of injuries and damage caused by the accident, as well as of the scene of the accident itself, may help you prove fault and help determine if the at-fault driver may have been driving while distracted. You should also be sure to collect the contact information of anybody who may have witnessed the accident.
Next, be sure to report the accident to local authorities and make sure an official accident report is filed. This will document all involved parties of the accident and other details of the nature of the accident. You should also save any medical records and bills related to injuries you and your passengers may have sustained during the accident.
Working Towards Maximum Medical Improvement
Some injuries will require time and rehabilitation to fully heal; it is vital you follow your physician’s treatment plan in order to properly heal and recuperate after being injured in an accident. Only once you have achieved your maximum medical improvement, or in other words, improved as much as you are medically likely to improve or recover, will you be able to accurately assess the physical and financial impact your injuries have had. Without reaching this state, you may only be guessing as to how much your medical costs may be, and this estimate may fall short of the eventual cost.
CONTACT An auto ACCIDENT lawyer TODAY
If you have been injured in a car accident, you should contact a traffic accident lawyer from Zinda Law Group today to help you determine whether the at-fault driver may have been driving while distracted. Your lawyer will use his or her experience helping other accident victims to help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to after your accident.
Be aware that insurers often have teams of lawyers who work to prevent them from paying out large settlements; they will be familiar with these types of cases and the best strategies for avoiding liability or paying as little as possible. The personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group can help you to even these odds.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.