Most people understand that distracted driving is a dangerous activity. Sadly, however, many drivers still choose to engage in it.
Get informed on what makes distracted driving so dangerous and what you can do if you have been injured by a distracted driver.
What’s Considered Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that draws your attention away from the task of driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving can divert three different forms of attention from driving, including:
- Visual attention: Taking a driver’s eyes off the road
- Manual attention: Taking a driver’s hands off the wheel
- Cognitive attention: Taking a driver’s mind off the task of driving
There are many different forms of distracted driving that can divert one or all three forms of attention from the road, including:
- Using a smartphone
- Adjusting the radio
- Listening to loud music
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Managing children or pets
While all forms of distracted driving are dangerous, texting and driving is perhaps the most dangerous, and the most notorious. The reason texting and driving is so dangerous is because it diverts all three forms of a driver’s attention at the same time.
In fact, one alarming statistic from the CDC states that looking at a text draws a driver’s attention away from the road for five seconds. When traveling at fast speeds on the highway, this is equivalent to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded!
How to Identify a Distracted Driver on the Road
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 3,000 people were killed by distracted driving in 2019. The trend has not changed much, with an average of eight people still killed per day due to distracted driving, according to the CDC.
Given the prevalence of distracted driving, and the potentially devastating consequences, it’s smart for any motorist to know how to identify a distracted driver. While these guidelines are not fool-proof, they can be helpful in identifying a potentially dangerous driver on the road:
- Swerving between lanes
- Failing to move once the light turns green
- Waiting too long at a stop sign
- Braking too suddenly or dangerously late
- Looking down at their lap
- Face illuminated by a glow at night
- Chewing or drinking
What to Do If You’re Injured by a Distracted Driver
Distracted driving can have devastating consequences. Those involved in distracted driving crashes may suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burn injuries
- Injuries requiring amputation
- Broken bones
Such injuries can easily throw a victim into a physical, emotional, and financial hole. Financially, distracted driving victims could face medical bills and lost wages amounting to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, it’s important that you be able to recover the compensation you need. In Florida, no-fault insurance laws apply, which means you will recover compensation from your own insurer after an accident. However, this does not change the fact that, sometimes, insurers act in bad faith and do not pay you the money you deserve. With the right legal team on your side, however, you may be able to build a strong distracted driving claim and recover full compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
How to Strengthen a Distracted Driving Claim
One of the first steps after getting injured by a distracted driver is to contact a qualified personal injury attorney who has experience in these complex cases. Your attorney will be able to gather the evidence needed in a case like this, which may include the following:
- Timestamps from the other driver’s phone. If the other driver has not deleted the data from their phone, then their phone’s timestamps of calls and texts can prove the most useful evidence in a distracted driving case. The timestamps can be compared to the time of the crash to determine whether the other driver was using their phone right before the incident.
- Phone records. Sometimes, the other driver will have deleted everything from their phone after the crash. However, very little of what we put onto the internet is deleted forever. It’s possible to recover the other driver’s phone records from their phone company, even if they deleted the data from their phone.
- Video footage. There may be traffic or security cameras near the crash site. It’s possible that footage from these cameras may show the other driver using their phone right before the crash.
- Witness testimony. Witnesses’ testimonies can prove valuable evidence in any car accident claim. Your attorney can contact those at the scene and see if they saw anything that indicated the other driver was distracted before the crash.
Injured by a Distracted Driver? We’re Here to Help
Getting injured by a distracted driver can be devastating, particularly when knowing the entire incident could have been avoided had the other driver been acting responsibly. If you or someone you love has been injured by a distracted driver, Michles & Booth is here to help. Our Florida car accident attorneys have handled countless complex car accident claims, and we may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Call Michles & Booth at (800) 848-6168 to schedule a free consultation.