Introduction to Distracted Driving Accident Claims, Attorneys and Lawsuits
Distracted driving is fast becoming one of the leading causes of crashes amongst all age groups, especially younger drivers. One of the most prevalent types of distracted driving is texting while driving, wherein the driver attempts to read and/or send a text message, e-mail, or other communication while the vehicle is in motion. Distracted driving, however, is much more expansive: a driver is distracted any time that his or her attention and/or body is disengaged in whole or in part from the tasks associated with driving. When a driver is distracted, he or she becomes a danger to him- or herself and others on the road. Serious collisions can result from this type of behavior, causing injuries and losses for which the distracted driver may be held responsible.
Defining Distracted Driving Car Accidents
A distracted driving car accident occurs whenever one or more of the drivers involved in a motor vehicle collision are determined to have been distracted at the time of the crash. Distractions can include:
- Talking on one’s cell phone or using a hands-free device;
- Texting while driving, responding to e-mails while driving, and/or checking social media accounts while driving;
- Listening to music or attempting to change the radio station;
- Carrying on conversations with others in the car;
- Trying to calm a fussy child while the vehicle is in motion; and/or
- Eating, putting on makeup, or reading a book or other literature while attempting to drive.
Distracted driving is so dangerous in part because a car can travel a great distance in a short time. This gives distracted drivers little to no opportunity to avoid colliding with other cars, vehicles, or hazards. Distraction.gov claims, for example, that the average text message takes the driver’s eyes off of the road for at least five seconds. In that time, a car traveling 55 miles per hour would have traveled the length of a football field.
Distracted Driving Car Accident Statistics
Statistics show that distracted driving (especially texting while driving) is a risky behavior – in some cases, as risky as driving under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or impairing substance. Did you know:
- In 2014, over 3,100 individuals were killed and approximately 431,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
- It is estimated that at any time approximately 660,000 drivers are using a cell phone or other electronic device while their vehicles are in motion. This is a number that has remained constant for the past six years.
- According to a 2015 survey, 33 percent of all drivers confessed that they had texted while driving. Seventy-five percent indicated they had seen another driver texting while driving.
Despite public awareness campaigns and the dissemination of information about the dangers of distracted driving, it appears as if this information is not dissuading individuals from putting the cell phone away and concentrating on the task of driving.
Proving Distracted Driving After a Car Accident
When a car accident occurs, it may be difficult to determine if the at-fault driver was distracted – much less prove this at trial. Your own observations and those of witnesses who saw the crash may be the only evidence available that establishes the other driver was talking on his or her cell phone, putting on makeup, or otherwise distracted at the time of the crash. A thorough investigation conducted promptly after the accident occurs may reveal other evidence of distracted driving such as:
- Cell phone data and records that establish the driver was making a call or sending a text message at the time of the crash;
- The presence of “distracting” objects within the driver’s reach such as makeup, literature, food and/or beverages, or other similar items;
- The existence of video camera footage from devices mounted near the scene of the crash that can provide photographic evidence as to the driver’s behavior just before the crash.
This evidence can be lost, and witnesses who know where this information is located can go missing, if prompt action is not taken to secure the information and identify necessary witnesses. While properly preserving evidence and locating and subpoenaing witnesses requires knowledge that most injury victims do not have, an experienced and knowledgeable distracted driving accident lawyer will know what steps need to be taken to accomplish these important tasks.
Stern Law, PLLC Assists Injured Distracted Driving Accident Victims
Distracted drivers carelessly cause thousands of accidents each year because they are more concerned with their own issues thank in keeping themselves and others safe. Do not feel as if you must tackle the costs and expenses caused by a distracted driving accident by yourself – Stern Law, PLLC is ready and capable to help you or your injured loved one in obtaining compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses and costs typically associated with distracted driving accidents. Call Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529.