Distracted drivers are some of the most dangerous individuals operating vehicles out on public roads. Their eyes are not on their surroundings as they should be, and their minds are not concerned with the car they are in control of. This split attention is incredibly dangerous, as the distracted driver is woefully unaware of the hazards present in the environment and their proximity to other vehicles. Almost one-third of all collisions in the United States are attributed to distracted driving. If you have fallen victim to this highly prevalent, yet preventable driving habit, experienced car accident attorneys will work with you to protect your rights and pursue compensation as a result of the distracted driving accident.
Understanding Distracted Driving
Distracted driving constitutes any activity behind the wheel that takes the driver’s attention away from the road and their surroundings. In the United States, this dangerous driving habit is so prevalent that 481,000 are known to be engaging in this type of behavior during the daytime alone. Most of the time, distracted driving constitutes using a cell phone or other mobile device while behind the wheel. The danger of this habit is stunning to many, as the few seconds your eyes are off the road when reading a text is equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.
However, distracted driving is not only defined by the use of a cellphone while operating a vehicle. It can also be attributed to the following activities:
- Reaching for items that are not in your field of view.
- Eating and drinking behind the wheel.
- Adjusting the controls on the dashboard.
- Putting on makeup or otherwise grooming oneself in the mirror.
Note that the types of distractions that can take a driver’s attention from the road are not always tangible. For example, even cognitive disturbances, such as becoming lost in thought while behind the wheel, can result in an individual’s attention being deterred from the vehicle in their control.
Inattentiveness behind the wheel does not always involve the manipulation of items in the car or dramatic displays of negligence. For this reason, it is relatively easy for people to commit this offense and cause a collision. If you have been injured in an accident due to this type of behavior, it is your right to pursue compensation for all incurred damages and injuries.
Your Rights After Being Struck by a Distracted Driver
Distracted drivers are often guilty of breaking the law when it comes to acceptable behavior behind the wheel. This is especially true when those individuals are operating cell phones or other types of mobile devices while they drive. Suing for personal injuries, pain, and suffering, or damages are within your rights because, legally, they had a duty of care to behave safely on the road, and they neglected that duty. This neglect directly contributed to your suffering, which gives you grounds to file a lawsuit.
During your pursuit of justice and compensation, you also have the right to a personal injury lawyer. To give your case the best chance of success, do the following before contacting your lawyer:
- Photograph and record videos of the accident scene.
- Acquire the personal information of all parties involved.
- Seek medical attention, whether you believe you were injured or not.
- Note any abnormal physical or psychological conditions as you proceed with your case.
Pursuing legal action following a distracted driving car accident can be quite overwhelming. It takes a robust foundation of evidence to demonstrate the negligence of the guilty party, which can be challenging to collect without the legal authority to issue warrants and launch a thorough investigation.
In the case of a texting and driving incident, you may need the driver’s phone records. In another instance, dashcam footage would be a necessity for someone who took their eyes off the road and consequentially collided with your vehicle. Get in contact with a car accident lawyer, and they will secure the necessary evidence to defend your rights as a victim throughout your pursuit of compensation.