To get a clear idea of how pervasive the problem of distracted driving really is, consider that more than 3,000 fatalities occurred due to this behavior in 2020. This is despite the fact that there was a dramatic reduction in traffic because people were staying home because of Covid.
Even though the State of Florida made texting and driving illegal in 2019, the problem still persists. People continue to be involved in serious accidents caused by distracted driving, suffering severe injuries – and worse – as a result.
The law firm of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will be here for you if you’ve suffered an injury in an accident caused by the negligence of a distracted driver. We have years of experience handling cases similar to yours, and we’ll fight tenaciously to make sure that negligent driver faces accountability for their unforgivable behavior.
Here’s some information on the different types of distracted driving, as well as what you can do to have the best chance of obtaining maximum compensation for your injury.
As the name implies, a manual distraction occurs when you do something other with your hands than keep them on the steering wheel, where they should be. The most common example is texting or checking emails on a smartphone, but manual distractions also include eating or drinking, changing radio stations, or even gesturing to others inside the vehicle.
A cognitive distraction involves something that takes the focus off of driving. This could be something as simple as daydreaming or thinking about an upcoming meeting. It could also include becoming so involved in a radio program or song that you forget to pay attention to the road. This can lead to three major consequences:
- Reduced reaction times – A cognitive distraction can make it almost impossible to be able to react to a sudden change in the road. It could be a pedestrian crossing the road or a bicyclist crossing an intersection.
- Displaying poor judgment – If the distraction is something negative, such as work or family problems, that could not only cause a driver to lose focus, it could also make them angry. They may cut other motorists off or drive aggressively in some other fashion.
- Lack of spatial awareness – When a driver’s mind isn’t on the road, they won’t be as aware of others around them. They could make an absent-minded mistake that leads to a serious crash as a result.
This is when a driver’s eyes leave the road. They might be looking at a billboard, looking at their phone, or making eye contact with someone else in the vehicle with them. When this happens, they’ll be much more prone to striking another vehicle or object.
No other negligent behavior combines all of the distractions mentioned above, like using a smartphone while behind the wheel. They have to take their hands off of the wheel to type a text, and they’ll obviously not be looking at the road while they do it. Their mental focus is on their phone and not their surroundings.
Types of Accidents that Distractions Cause
Just as there are different types of distractions, there are several kinds of accidents that can result – and they can all lead to severe, potentially life-threatening injuries. The following are just a few of the many examples.
- Head-on accidents – When a driver loses focus on a two-lane highway, they will often overreact when they realize another vehicle is heading in the opposite direction. They can sometimes panic so badly that they actually move into that vehicle’s path.
- Rear-end collisions – Checking a text can result in the negligent driver slamming into the rear of the vehicle in front of them. This can happen when the car in front has to stop or slow unexpectedly or when the at-fault driver is approaching a red light and not paying attention.
- Highway merging accidents – Merging onto a busy highway demands total concentration. Even the slightest lack of focus could lead to a devastating accident.
How to Prove a Driver was Distracted When They Hit You
Even though you’re completely convinced the other driver was distracted – and therefore at fault – you’ll still need hard evidence. This is why one of the first things you should do after a car wreck is to contact an attorney. Your legal representative will immediately get to work investigating the accident, gathering the proof it will take to make your case as strong as possible.
This will include getting pictures of the damaged vehicles, obtaining footage from nearby surveillance cameras, and interviewing witnesses. It could also include obtaining the phone records of that at-fault driver to show they were using their device when the accident took place.
Damages in Distracted Driving Cases
The damages in a car accident case are the financial losses that an injury victim experiences. These include the wages the victim loses because they can no longer work, their medical expenses, and the damage to their vehicle and other possessions.
Damages aren’t just tangible. However, they’re also subjective. Also known as non-economic damages, these include pain and suffering, mental and emotional trauma, loss of quality of life, and others. It takes a skilled attorney to be able to help a client obtain the full value of their non-economic damages.
Contact Keller, Melchiorre, and Walsh to Speak with a Distracted Driving Attorney ASAP After Your Accident
The law firm of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh is ready to make sure you get every penny you deserve if you’ve been badly hurt due to the negligence of a distracted driver. Someone who was so obsessed with looking at their phone – rather than the road in front of them – should be forced to pay dearly. That’s exactly what we will set out to do on your behalf.
If you would like more information on how we may be able to help, schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or calling.