Most people know distracted driving is dangerous. Unfortunately, however, many people still choose to participate in it.
There is a common misconception that texting and driving is the only form of distracted driving. In reality, there are several different behaviors that can distract a driver’s attention from the road and contribute to a car crash.
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a motorist’s attention away from the task of safe driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three forms of distraction, including:
- Visual: Takes a driver’s eyes off the road
- Manual: Takes a driver’s hand(s) off the wheel
- Cognitive: Takes a driver’s mind off the task of driving
The reason why texting and driving is so dangerous and notorious is that it distracts all three forms of a motorist’s attention -- visual, manual, and cognitive.
One alarming statistic demonstrates the danger of texting and driving. According to the CDC, sending a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for approximately five seconds. When traveling at high speeds on the highway, that is equivalent to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.
There are several other forms of distracted driving that motorists must avoid, including:
- Eating and drinking
- Playing loud music
- Talking to passengers
- Applying makeup
Participating in any of these activities while driving greatly increases the risk of a car crash. This can have devastating consequences not only for the driver, but for those outside the vehicle as well. These consequences may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burn injuries
- Injuries requiring amputation
- Wrongful death
Given the potentially devastating consequences of distracted driving, it’s vital that those who choose to participate in this activity be held accountable for their actions.
In order to prove a driver was negligent and owes the plaintiff damages, it must be demonstrated that the driver was participating in a distracting activity immediately before the car crash.
The only potential upside to texting and driving is that it may be easier to prove negligence than with other forms of distracted driving. This is because electronic records may exist to prove the driver was calling or texting someone right before the crash.
For example, the phone may still contain records of calls and texts, as well as timestamps. This can be compared to the time the crash occurred. Additionally, phone companies may have records of calls and texts if the driver deleted these on their phone after the crash. Other forms of evidence may include things posted to social media, such as Instagram posts or Snapchat snaps.
In instances not involving texting and driving, there may be evidence at the accident scene that can demonstrate negligence. For example, the driver may be holding a phone when they get out of the car, or there may be half-eaten food or a makeup container on the passenger seat.
Given the variety of evidence that must be collected in a distracted driving case, it’s vital to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. It’s often only with their expertise that you will be able to demonstrate distracted driving occurred and recover significant compensation.
Our Mobile personal injury attorneys have helped countless clients recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more after a devastating car crash. We may be able to help you, too.
Call Cunningham Bounds at (251) 299-0101 to schedule a free consultation.