Distracted driving is defined as doing anything while driving that takes your focus away from the task of driving. Distracted driving is becoming more and more of an issue as the years pass by. In 2010 there were 3,092 deaths/416,000 injuries a year and recently, in 2015 there were 3,477 deaths/391,000 injuries.
Now, nearly 9 people are killed and nearly 1,000 more are injured every day in an accident that was the result of distracted driving. That is 9 deaths and a thousand injuries that could have been prevented if the driver had kept their eyes and focus on the road.
Types of Distractions
There are 3 main types of distractions that cause the accidents mentioned above: Visual, Manual, and Cognitive.
Visual: A distraction causes you to take your eyes off of the road.
Manual: A distraction causes you to take your hands off of the wheel.
Cognitive: A distraction causes you to stop focusing on driving.
Just about anything could create a distraction, a phone call, a talking passenger, eating or reaching for a drink, a text message, a bug on the windshield, adjusting the radio or navigation settings, a dog in the road, tending to children, grooming, etc. Some distractions can cause you to lose visual, manual, and cognitive focus on driving and usually are the most detrimental. Did you know that traveling at 55mph, if you were glance away from the road (for example, to read or send a text) for only 5 seconds, you have covered the length of a football field? That is a large amount of space that you have traveled that you cannot account for. A lot can happen in just a few seconds.
Who is Most at Risk
Statistically, drivers under the age of 20 are the most at risk for falling victim to distracted driving. They are also more likely to take part in other unsafe driving practices. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a 2015 study conducted revealed that 42% of high school aged drivers reported to texting while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, drive while intoxicated, or be passenger to an intoxicated driver.
Distracted Driving and Personal Injury Lawsuits
Individuals who are distracted while driving and cause an accident can be found responsible in civil court for their actions and the consequences their actions had on others involved in the crash. If the distracted driving resulted in the death of a party involved or the distracted driver was also intoxicated, criminal charges could be brought against them.
If you were involved in a car accident that was caused by negligent distracted driving you either have grounds for a lawsuit or you are at risk for being sued (and your insurance may not be enough to cover it). Contact our law office as soon as possible after the accident to discuss your options and next step.