The Impact of Distracted Driving on Car Accident Cases

The Impact of Distracted Driving on Car Accident Cases
Calendar icon April 16, 2024

Driving is an everyday activity that demands a driver’s full attention and diligence. However, with the increase in technology usage and multitasking culture, distracted driving has become a significant public safety concern. Unfortunately, the consequences of this behavior can result in car accidents that have devastating outcomes for anyone involved. 

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving refers to any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road, even momentarily. These distractions are often grouped into one of four categories:

Manual Distractions

Manual distractions while driving are anything that takes the driver’s hands off the steering wheel and divert their attention away from the road. Examples include:

  • Texting
  • Adjusting radio or other controls
  • Applying makeup or grooming yourself
  • Handling pets or children
  • Using any electronic device

Visual Distractions

Visual distractions are anything that takes the driver’s eyes off the road, even if only for a moment. These distractions can include:

  • Texting 
  • Looking at GPS or navigation systems
  • Reading billboards or signs along the road
  • Rubbernecking
  • Turning to check on passengers, pets or children in the backseat

Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distractions involve taking your mind off the task of driving. Examples of this include:

  • Daydreaming
  • Feelings of fatigue
  • Multitasking
  • Conversations 
  • Road rage

Auditory Distractions

Auditory distractions while driving involve sounds that take your attention away from the road. Some examples include:

  • Phone calls or phone notifications
  • Loud music or other in-car entertainment
  • Navigation system alerts
  • Vehicle alerts
  • Conversations or passenger noises

Each of these distractions can impair driving performance, diminishing the driver’s ability to react timely to traffic conditions, follow traffic signals, and notice changes in the environment.

The Statistics Behind Distracted Driving

The statistics surrounding distracted driving are alarming. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,308 lives in 2022, accounting for 8% of fatal crashes in the U.S. Moreover, data has revealed  that texting while driving increases the risk of a crash or near-crash event by as much as 23 times

These figures demonstrate the urgent need for drivers to prioritize road safety and avoid distractions. Consider the following tips for safe driving:

  • Wait until it’s safe to pull off the road and park your car to answer text messages.
  • Put your phone in a spot that is out of reach while driving to avoid mindless scrolling or fidgeting with apps.
  • Appoint a passenger the designated texter or navigator while driving.
  • Activate the “do not disturb” feature on your phone while driving. 

What To Do After A Distracted Driving Accident

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, it can be an overwhelming event. After the accident, this is what you should do:

  • Check for injuries: Immediately after the accident, pull over to a safe space if you’re able, and check yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for injuries.
  • File a police report: After the accident, contact the police to file a police report. The police report will outline information including point of impact, any injuries, details of the accident, and driver information.
  • Exchange information: Exchange insurance information with the other driver on the scene. If they fled after the accident, do your best to remember the make, model, and direction that the vehicle was heading and report to the authorities. 
  • Talk to witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their information. They can be valuable assets to any accident claim.
  • Take photo and video: While on the scene, take photos and videos of the scene. This can include road conditions, posted street signs, damage to your vehicle, or any injuries. 
  • Seek medical attention: Whether or not you feel like you sustained injuries after the accident, it’s important to seek the advice of a medical professional. A medical evaluation after a car accident can uncover any hidden injuries that may not be immediately present at the scene. 
  • Notify your insurance company: If you experienced an injury after a car accident in New York, you can file for no-fault benefits within 30 days of the accident.
  • Contact an attorney: Proving negligence in a distracted driving accident can be difficult. If you were  injured as a result of a distracted driving accident, a personal injury attorney can assist you in recovering the compensation you deserve.

Determining Liability After A Distracted Driving Accident

In the eyes of the law, driving while distracted is often seen as a form of negligence. This means that if a driver is proven to have been engaging in any activity that took their focus away from driving at the time of the accident, they can be held liable for any damages or injuries caused.

Every driver owes a duty of care to other road users to operate their vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner. Breaching this duty through distractions can be a significant factor in establishing fault in car accident cases. Attorneys representing victims of such accidents will typically gather evidence such as phone records, eyewitness testimonies, and in-car technologies to prove that distracted driving contributed to the accident.

Combating Distracted Driving 

In response to the increasing threat of distracted driving, numerous states have enacted laws and regulations aimed at reducing this dangerous behavior. Texting while driving bans, restrictions on handheld device usage, and severe penalties for violations are among the measures taken to combat distracted driving. Nevertheless, despite the legislative progress, consistent enforcement of these rules remains a challenge.

Technological Solutions

To help combat distracted driving, automakers and technology companies are developing systems designed to reduce the temptation of using smartphones behind the wheel. Features such as do-not-disturb modes, automatic replies to texts, and integration of voice-activated controls are becoming more prevalent in vehicles. These innovations aim to keep drivers’ hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.

The Role of Education

Education is crucial in tackling the issue of distracted driving. Driver’s education programs emphasize the importance of attentive driving and the risks associated with distractions. Yet, it’s not just new drivers who need to be educated; even experienced drivers need regular reminders about the dangers of distracted driving.

To bridge this knowledge gap, there are several informative resources and courses available online. Many offer strategies for managing distractions and encourage drivers to pledge to drive without distractions. It is important that road safety education continues to address this modern challenge faced by drivers of all ages.

Seeking Support After a Distracted Driving Accident

If you have been a victim of a car accident caused by another driver’s distractions, it’s recommended that you seek professional legal support to help you navigate the potentially complex legal waters. At Cellino Law, we understand the impact that distracted driving can have on those involved. 

Our attorneys have extensive experience working with victims of distracted driving accidents. We are committed to fighting on behalf of our clients and working to ensure that they receive the compensation they’re entitled to. If you or a loved one has been affected by a distracted driving incident, do not hesitate to reach out to us.Contact Cellino Law and let our team of knowledgeable and compassionate  attorneys guide you through the legal process, provide you with the support you need, and help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case. For a free case consultation, call us at 888-888-8888.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



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