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Distracted Driving is Leading to More Car Accident Lawsuits


Everyday, 8 people are killed in the United States because of car a accident caused by distracted driving. More and more lawsuits are being drawn up based on the damage and injuries that have happened as a result. Distracted driving is exactly what it sounds like. It is when people drive while doing something else at the same time that takes their attention away from the road.

There are many types of distractions, big and small, and they all can be extremely dangerous to everyone involved. When a drivers ability to safely operate a vehicle is compromised, it opens the door to a lot of dangerous possibilities. Possibilities that can result in irreparable damages. Everyone in the car, in other cars on the road, walking on the streets, or even in buildings nearby, are at risk.

Different Types of Distractions

The different types of distractions that can cause car accidents fall into 3 types of categories:

Visual Distraction.

This is when a driver’s eyes are taken from the road. Often times this happens when a driver is:

  • texting, watching videos, or checking emails on cell phones
  • turning to look at a passenger
  • reading a map or navigation system
  • looking in a mirror
  • applying make-up
  • adjusting the radio

Mental Distraction.

Such distractions occur when a driver’s cognitive functions are occupied on something other than the road. It is very easy for the mind to get distracted when:

  • texting/checking a cell phone
  • engaging in conversations with passengers
  • driving without enough sleep
  • driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Manual Distraction.

Such distractions occur when a driver is using their hands for something other than driving. This can happen when one or both hands are removed from the wheel to:

  • text/email
  • eat
  • light a cigarette
  • search through a bag
  • personal grooming

As you can see above, some of these distractions affect all 3 types of attention needed to drive safely. These tend to be the most dangerous kind. According to the National Safety Council, 1.6 million crashes occur a year due to cell phone use and 330,000 injuries occur as a result of texting.

Common Injuries

No matter if the car accident has totaled the car, or was a mere fender bender, it’s very possible for an injury to occur. It’s even more likely in accidents that involve distracted drivers, as their reaction time proves to be slower and they cannot maneuver in time to avoid the wreck.

Common injuries that occur are:

  • burns
  • concussions
  • facial or internal damages
  • fractured bones
  • lacerations
  • loss of teeth
  • seat belt injuries
  • skull fractures
  • spinal cord injury
  • brain injury
  • whiplash

If an injury does occur during the accident, no matter how severe, the driver who caused it will have to take responsibility for all costs connected. The repercussions of such injuries can go on for years, in some cases an entire lifetime.

How To Prove The Cause Was Distracted Driving

When it comes to determining who is responsible for the damages and injuries in a distracted driving lawsuit, there must be evidence provided in order to prove the driver wasn’t paying close enough attention.

The most reliable proof usually comes from:

Police Reports: The reports that police file after an accident include details that could help determine who is at fault. If the report is completed soon enough after the accident, it can be used as trustworthy evidence in court.

If The Driver Responsible Owns Up: There are times when a person will own up to being responsible for the accident, though it is rare.

Witnesses: Anyone who saw the accident or was a passenger in the vehicle is considered a witness. The police will talk to everyone who saw what happened and should take each person’s statement. Witnesses may testify to help support the victim in court.

Cell Phone Records: Lawyers may use records from the driver’s cell phone to prove they were texting or on a call during the time of the accident.

Videos or Photos: If police caught anything on their dash cams, or witnesses recorded material on their cell phones, this can be used as evidence in court.

Many states are now creating laws, such as banning texting while driving. These laws are being put in place in order to raise awareness of the dangers surrounding distracted driving. The hope is, people will be informed of the harm it can cause and start to pay more attention.

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Topics: Accidents, Legal

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