Distracted Driving Accidents
Today it is a common sight to see drivers talking on their cell phones or sending and receiving text messages while driving. In fact, recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggest that 71% of teens and young adults admitted to writing or sending a text message while driving, and 78% of teens and young adults admitted to reading a text message while driving. Engaging in other behaviors that take the driver’s eyes or attention off the road – called “distracted driving” – can take many forms, including:
- Sending or reading text messages;
- Adjusting the stereo or radio;
- Talking with passengers or paying attention to children in the car;
- Eating or drinking; and
- Reaching for an item that has fallen on the floor.
Dangers of Distracted Driving
When a driver is distracted, that driver becomes unable to react to sudden hazards in the roadway. A car can travel a considerable distance in the time it takes a driver to send or read a simple text. Distracted driving falls into two main categories:
- Mechanical distraction, in which the driver’s hands and/or feet are occupied by other tasks such as dialing, texting, or adjusting the radio. This poses a danger because the driver may not be able to steer efficiently or work the pedals to the car.
- Attentive distraction, in which the driver’s eyes and/or focus is off of the road and directed elsewhere (such as when a driver is reading a text or concerned with what a fussy child in the backseat). A driver may not see a pedestrian that has just wandered into the road, or a car that has suddenly stopped ahead of the driver.
Holding Distracted Drivers Responsible for Permanent Injuries
When a car crash is caused by a distracted driver, that distracted driver can be held responsible for the damages and injuries he or she causes. This is because every driver owes a “duty of care” to others that use the roadway. This “duty of care” requires that drivers operate their cars in a reasonably careful manner. When a driver violates this “duty of care” by sending a text while driving (for example), and someone is permanently injured as a result, that driver can be held responsible for those injuries.
Holding a distracted driver for the injuries caused by a crash involves collecting important pieces of evidence such as cell phone records, witness statements, and photographic evidence (for instance). Injury victims who seek the assistance of a car accident attorney are more likely to preserve these important pieces of evidence and thus recover compensation for their injuries.
Contact Kaire & Heffernan, LLC
If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious car crash with a distracted driver, it is important you speak with the attorneys at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC right away. We are experienced and zealously represent car crash victims who have been seriously and permanently injured in collisions with distracted drivers. Contact us at (305) 372-0123 today.