Distracted drivers are responsible for many auto accident injuries and deaths. In 2017, distracted drivers took the lives of 3,166 people, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The term "distracted driving" can mean many different things due to the many things that can distract drivers physically and mentally while they're on the road.
Manual distracted driving refers to distractions that cause drivers to remove their hands from the wheel. This can happen if a driver is texting, applying makeup, eating, adjusting the radio, or reaching for something that fell on the seat or floor.
Visual distracted driving involves drivers looking away from the road without taking their hands off the wheel. Visual distractions can come from turning to look at an accident scene, reading billboards that aren't in your direct line of sight while you have your eyes on the road, or turning to look at a passenger you're having a conversation with.
Cognitive distracted driving is one of the most difficult types to prevent. Cognitive distracted driving happens when something takes your attention away from the road and traffic around you.
Even if you aren't listening to the radio, having a conversation, using your phone, or doing anything else other than driving, you can still be distracted if your mind is so focused on what you need to purchase at the store or what you plan to say in a meeting at work that you can't pay adequate attention to the road.
How Can You Prove Someone Was Driving Distracted?
If you were injured in a car accident due to a distracted driver and you plan to file a lawsuit, it might be difficult to prove the other driver was distracted at the time of the crash.
Call the police for any vehicle accident you're involved in. A police report or testimony of the details of the accident and the condition of the other driver can be helpful when you try to prove the driver was distracted.
Gather the names and contact information for any witnesses at the scene of the accident if you can, so they can give statements or testify about how or why the other driver was distracted.
Phone records can be helpful to prove someone was texting, talking on the phone, or using an app at the time of the accident.
Sometimes videos and photos can prove distracted driving as well. Police dash or body cams, surveillance video from nearby homes or businesses, and videos taken by you or other witnesses on a phone or camera can all be useful to your case.
What Should You Do If You've Been Injured by a Distracted Driver?
If you've been injured in a car accident due to a distracted driver, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help make sure you fill out all legal paperwork correctly and file it according to the deadlines in your state.
Personal injury lawyers often offer free consultations to discuss the facts and outcome of a car accident, and they don't usually charge clients for legal fees until they win their cases.
For more information, contact an auto accident attorney.