What You Need to Know About Distracted Driving
Inattentive driving is increasingly becoming a concern for law enforcement officers. According to the NHTSA, 2,841 people died in 2018 as a result of distracted driving. A majority of those killed were drivers, followed closely by passengers. One of the main reasons for the increased incidences of distracted driving is the use of portable devices.
Today young people in their teens and 20s are most likely going to cause accidents due to distracted driving than any other reason. However, people of all ages are guilty of using their phones while on the road. Here are some facts you should know.
How Accidents Happen
It is important to understand how distracted driving happens so that we can reduce the risk when driving. The driver’s attention may be compromised because they are busy reading a text or taking a call. Personal grooming, for example, combing your hair or putting on a sweater, can also compromise the driver’s attention.
Other things can divert your attention other than social media or mobile text. You can be fixated on a phone conversation, such that you are not in a position to respond to emergencies. Anything that shifts your focus on driving can cause an accident.
Prevalence of Distracted Driving
When the driver is distracted, they can cause accidents and even fatalities. While drunk driving causes more deaths, distracted driving is responsible for more non-fatal injuries. There were 390,000 non-fatal cases caused by an inattentive driver, as opposed to 290,000 cases from drunk driving.
Texting or using social media apps can double the rate of an accident. The United States has the highest rates of accidents caused by inattentive drivers. In 61% of crashes, the victim was the driver, and 22% were passengers. The statistics indicate that pedestrians make up about 13% of such cases.
Negligence and Personal Injury Law
Before going to trial, the plaintiff has to establish that the defendant was at fault. The principle of the legal duty of care can hold the other party responsible for not handling the vehicle with caution. A claim of negligence ought to show how the driver abandoned their responsibility, causing a car crash.
If you were eating while driving, applying makeup, or getting dressed, you might be held responsible for the accident. Today, some laws prohibit the use of a cellphone while driving. That means it is highly probable the court will find the driver responsible for the accident.
What to Do After an Accident
After a car crash, the first thing to do is to seek medical attention, even if you believe you are okay. A check may have some health complications that you may have ignored.
Take pictures of the scene, if possible, and file your medical records for future reference. It will also be helpful to record the other party’s insurance information, identification, and police reports.
Working with a Car Accident Attorney
A car accident attorney is the best option to pursue a distracted driving case. When you’re injured, you’ll need assistance from a professional who has experience with car crashes. Different states have varying laws, so you must seek a lawyer within the statute of limitations.
Get the Right Attorney
Out of the 5.5 million accidents that happen annually in the United States, 3 million cause injuries, and 40,000 are fatal. Distracted driving is among the top factors responsible for a rise in the incidences of car crashes. If you or your loved one are involved in an accident that you believe was caused by distracted driving, it would be wise to hire an accident attorney to help you seek redress.