Now more than ever, drivers have many distractions that pulls a driver’s focus from the road. Cell phones are becoming more and more complicated, with many more options, including augmented reality games such as Pokemon GO. Today’s expectations that everyone should be available at any time via text, phone or e-mail are putting more pressure on people to use their phones in dangerous ways while driving. Any kind of phone use while driving is dangerous, distracting and can be deadly.
Distracted driving isn’t limited to phone use. Talking to someone in the car, managing a small child, eating, reading a map, programming a GPS unit – all of those activities take the driver’s focus from the road and hampers reaction time and ability to manage the vehicle.
Statistics indicate that the average time a person’s eyes leave the road to send a text message is five seconds, which is enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. It’s no wonder police are seeing distracted driving cases more frequently.DISTRACTED DRIVING CASES ARE COMMON
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,179 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2014, while another 431,000 were injured. Younger drivers are more likely to be using phones while behind the wheel, and since those drivers are less experienced, the combination is often deadlier.
Smart phones – with a myriad of apps available for music, games, weather and information – have gained lots of ground, and more adults are buying smart phones rather than basic phones just for calling. In 2011, 52 percent of drivers reported owning a smart phone, while 80 percent indicated they had a smart phone in 2014, according to research from insurance giant State Farm. The greatest growth in ownership is in drivers who are 40 years old or older.
Beyond phones, cars are now more complicated to operate. Some come with elaborate entertainment systems that include a DVD player, and radios with a myriad of traditional broadcast and satellite options. The more complicated the systems are to operate, the more time it takes to find the right setting, making driving far more dangerous while drivers fidget with uncooperative technology.YOUR RIGHTS IN A DISTRACTED DRIVING CASE
If you are injured in an accident with a distracted driver, you may have the right to recover damages from the other driver or the driver’s insurance company (or both). In some cases, if the driver didn’t have insurance or didn’t have enough insurance, your insurance company may pay you under the terms in your own underinsured or uninsured motorists coverage. You may be able to recover damages for disfigurement, lost wages, emotional distress and damage to your vehicle.
In cases in which a family member was killed in a distracted driving accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. In addition to the damages listed above, you may be able to make a loss of consortium claim for the lost love and affection of your loved one.OUR EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS CAN HELP YOU
Following an accident, the process of recovery is overwhelming. If you or a loved one is injured, you will have many concerns about physical recovery, as well as replacing or repairing your vehicle. You may miss work, and on top of all of that, you’ll have piles of paperwork pushed at you by insurance companies wanting to pay you and settle your case.
A qualified attorney should review your case before you sign anything. We can review the accident report, your insurance policy, the other driver’s insurance policy and recommend the best course of action for you. Contact us through our contact form, which you can find here, or call us at (270) 781-6500. The initial case review is free.