Every day, at least 9 Americans die and 100 are injured in a distracted driving crash.
Distracted drivers are dangerous. Unfortunately, they are also very common. In fact, 80% of car crashes involve a driver who was not paying attention.
There are three types of distraction while driving:
Cognitive distraction - when a driver’s mind wanders or is not focused on the road
Manual distraction - when a driver takes his or her hands off the steering wheel
Visual distraction - when a driver is not looking at the road
While the largest cause of distraction while driving is simply being lost in thought, crashes can also be caused by a combination of these types of distraction. In fact, cell phone use, which is the second-largest cause of distracted driving crashes, accomplishes all three types of distraction. The driver’s mind is focused on the phone, his hands are typically off the steering wheel, and his eyes are on the phone or split between the phone and the road. In fact, when a driver is sending or reading a text, the driver takes his eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. In that time, the driver can travel the length of a football field essentially with his eyes closed.
Regardless of why a driver might be distracted, all drivers have a duty and responsibility to protect others by paying attention while driving a vehicle.
If you’ve been injured by a negligent or distracted driver, we at Blase Inzina Injury Attorneys can help you get back on track by getting you the financial compensation you need to recover physically, mentally, and financially.
What types of accidents are caused by distracted drivers?
Distracted drivers could cause accidents of any type including:
hitting another vehicle
causing other vehicles to hit each other
hitting a pedestrian
hitting a bicyclist
running into a building
damaging other types of property
and so on…
What can I be compensated for if I have been hurt by a distracted driver?
If you’ve been hurt by a distracted driver, you can make a claim for your damages including:
your medical care and bills
your lost wages from missing work or for what you will not be able to do in the future because of the incident
your property damage which could include damage to your vehicle, bicycle, items in your vehicle, etc.
a permanent physical disability
your pain and suffering, which could include your emotional health
any loss of enjoyment of life or consortium, which has to do with the relationship between you and your spouse or family
All of these are common damages people experience after a car wreck or other type of personal injury caused by the negligence of someone else. An experienced lawyer can help you pursue compensation for these unfair consequences of someone else’s actions.
How do you prove someone was driving while distracted?
Though approximately 660,000 drivers use their cell phones while driving each day. Unlike in drunk driving cases, there is no test a police officer could administer to determine if distraction was a factor in the accident. Because distracted driving is self-reported, it is believed that it is vastly under-reported. There are many strategies that experienced personal injury lawyers use to get the best result for their clients. At Blase Inzina Injury Attorneys, our goal would be to prove distracted driving was a factor causing the accident with:
Cell phone records that show:
When and where a call was placed and ended
When a text message was sent and received
Surveillance to establish a record of habits
However, proving distraction was a factor that caused the collision could help to prove the other driver was indeed at fault and therefore liable for the damages caused by the accident. Additionally, if the driver was working as an employee at the time of collision and was using a cell phone or other technology device, the employer could also be held liable for failing to have and follow a cell phone usage while driving policy.
What types of actions are considered driving distractions?
There are many things that can distract a driver. Today we most commonly think of cell phones, but drivers can become distracted in many other ways as well. Some common actions that distract drivers are:
Picking up something you dropped
Looking for something in your purse, console, etc.
Eating or drinking
Talking to or assisting children or other passengers
Controlling the car’s DVD player, radio, MP3, or even GPS system
Applying makeup, brushing hair, and other grooming actions
Even needing to use the bathroom can cause distraction as it takes the mind off the road
-Listening to music decreases a driver’s brain power that is focused on driving by 40%
-Driving in the car with kids takes a driver’s attention off the road for approximately 21% of the car ride
-Technology in cars has increased productivity but not safety.
-People who drink or eat while driving are 80% more likely to get into an accident