Did Distracted Driving Cause Your Accident?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Distracted driving could be a factor in any car accident. But proving it? For that, you will probably need a lawyer.
What, Exactly, Is Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is part of the United States Department of Transportation, defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”
The NHTSA also reported that distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives in 2018, including 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 bicyclists.
Who Is (Most) Guilty Of Distracted Driving?
Everyone is guilty, occasionally, of taking their eyes off the road for a few seconds to attend to something else, but research suggests that it is a bigger issue for some people than others.
- Young people. According to distraction.gov, young drivers “are 4 times more likely than any other age group to be involved in a crash while distracted.” They are also 44% more likely to be texting while driving. One study showed that 73% of the young drivers surveyed reported texting or using their cell phone while driving.
- Urban drivers. Independent research by insurance companies has shown that traffic congestion increases the use of cell phones — making phone calls, texting, and reading email. The analysis relied on insurance data on collisions and Federal Highway Administration data on congestion.
Additional statistics, risk factors, and resources about distracted driving are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How Do You Prove Distracted Driving?
Proving your accident involved distracted driving — or any other kind of negligence on the part of the at-fault driver — is a lot harder than you may think. Developing a strong distracted driver case will usually involve working with a personal injury lawyer to secure the digital, electronic, and video records (e.g. cell phones, car data/navigation systems), as well as interviewing and securing testimony from passengers in your vehicle, passengers in other vehicles, and any other eyewitnesses to the accident.
Often, the proof is right in the police report. The negligent driver often tells the truth and describes the specific distraction (“I spilled the coffee in my lap…”) when talking to the police at the scene. The police report can later be introduced as strong evidence of the negligent driver’s distraction.
Security camera footage, if available, can also sometimes provide valuable evidence in distracted driving cases.
A personal injury law firm like Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. will know how to gather evidence, secure documents, and build a case. We have helped hundreds of individuals and families throughout the state of Michigan get the compensation they need and deserve after being injured in motor vehicle crashes. In some cases, we might even use the services of accident reconstruction experts to prove that the car crash was caused by the other driver not paying attention to their driving.
It is very helpful to have an attorney present in any settlement discussion with an insurance company. An attorney can help you understand the limits of your personal injury protection coverage and the long term financial impacts of your injuries. Are you facing long-term disability? How will you and your family survive if you aren’t able to return to work?
The personal injury attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. are ready to meet with you, at your convenience, to consider your situation and make recommendations. After this free consultation, if we decide to work together, it will be on a contingency fee agreement, which means we don’t get paid until we secure a settlement for you.
Contact us at (866)-755-9503 or use our convenient online contact form to schedule your free consultation. We never charge a fee unless we win your case.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.