Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April is distracted driving awareness month, so we feel it’s important to take a moment to explore some basic issues, and to bring the facts to light.
Distracted driving is an issue that doesn’t get enough attention, even though it contributes to so many accidents. Given the widespread use of mobile phones over the last 20 years, car accidents are becoming more common due to inattentive or distracted drivers.
If you are a driver, passenger or pedestrian, you should be aware of the risks posed by distracted drivers, how to avoid them, and what you can do legally if you are injured.
Legal Consequences of Distracted Driving
How to Win Your Case
In auto accident cases, you are entitled to damages under certain circumstances. You’ll have to prove that the defendant not only hurt you, but also that he was negligent, reckless, or intentional.
Distracted driving is “negligent” or “reckless” conduct. In other words, the driver who caused your injuries didn’t mean to cause injuries, but he behaved recklessly under the circumstances. Their behavior increased the likelihood that someone would get hurt, and that’s exactly what happened.
For more information on: What is the Difference in Negligent vs. Reckless Driving?
To win a distracted driving case, you have to prove that the driver was distracted while he was driving, and that his behavior wasn’t justified under the circumstances.
Confused? Don’t worry, let’s use a brief example to clarify.
When It Is Not Considered Distracted Driving
Let’s say you’re injured in an auto accident. You believe the defendant was distracted while driving, which led to the collision (they weren’t paying attention to the road).
As you investigate the case further, you discover that the defendant-driver had their attention diverted because their passenger had a seizure. The seizure caused the passenger’s arms and hands to enter the driver’s field of view, and even interfere with their use of the steering wheel. The driver had to take a moment to deal with the situation, which distracted them from the road.
In these circumstances, the driver’s distraction would be justified. It would not be unreasonable. It might be a bit harder to win the case, or the damage recovery might be reduced.
On the other hand, suppose the driver was distracted because he was texting friends while driving. This behavior is unreasonable and unjustified, and qualifies as negligence or recklessness under the law, so you might be entitled to damages.
Statistics of Distracted Driving Infographic
Examples of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can take on many forms, including:
- Texting while driving
- Cell phone use while driving
- Talking to other passengers while driving
- Inattentiveness (i.e., looking at the sidewalk instead of the road ahead)
- And more
For example, while most people associate cell phone use with distracted driving, a driver can be drawn into conversation with his friend in the passenger seat. This conversation could distract the driver, causing them to make a mistake that leads to an accident.
Suppose the passenger contributed to the accident by distracting the driver. In that case, it may be possible to sue the passenger for damages. For a strategic approach, this makes it easier to secure the maximum possible compensation.
Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been in a car accident because of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to significant damages. When pursuing your claim, you’ll want to work with a qualified attorney who can help you from start-to-finish.
Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our attorneys are standing by to help you. We have a network of lawyers who are experienced in handling distracted driving cases.
Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free and confidential consultation. We’ll connect you to an experienced attorney in 10 minutes or less.