Many busy Americans multitask to make the most of every minute of the day. However, multitasking while driving a car or other motor vehicle can be extremely dangerous, as distracted drivers regularly cause auto accidents and injuries to other motorists. Driver distractions have only increased with the proliferation of smart phones and other handheld electronic devices. Such devices make checking email, sending text messages, and even browsing the Internet possible while behind the wheel. However, even if a person puts his or her smart phone away while driving, he or she may engage in other distracted driving behaviors that may cause accidents.
Some people may not even realize that they are engaging in distracted driving until they lose their focus and crash. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines distracted driving as any activity that causes one of the three following types of distraction:
- Visual–Anything that causes a driver to take his or her eyes off of the road.
- Manual–Tasks that cause a driver to remove his or her hands from the steering wheel.
- Cognitive–Any circumstance that takes a driver’s thoughts and focus away from the task of driving.
While any type of distracted driving can be dangerous, the most risky distractions are those that combine two or more of the categories of distraction. For example, texting on handheld devices takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, and your mind off of driving. For this reason, texting is considered one of the most dangerous types of distractions and is estimated to increase your chances of causing an accident by approximately 23 times.
Common Types of Distractions
Distractions come in many forms and can be high-tech or low-tech. The following are examples of common driver distractions that cause accidents:
- Texting or other messaging;
- Programming a GPS;
- Changing the radio;
- Eating or drinking;
- Personal grooming;
- Talking on the phone or to a passenger;
- Tending to children in the backseat;
- Reading; and
- Listening to audiobooks.
In almost every discernible case, distracted driving will likely be found to be a negligent action if it causes injury to another person. Victims of distracted driving accidents have the legal right to recover for all of their injury-related losses, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Distracted driving cases may be complicated, however, as it may be difficult to prove in court that a driver was negligently engaging in a distracting activity. For instance, it is nearly impossible to prove that a driver was paying attention to a conversation and not to the road. Often, these cases involve your word against the negligent driver’s word. An experienced personal injury attorney has many resources with which to gather evidence of distracted driving to help you receive the compensation you deserve if you are the victim of a distracted driver.
Contact a Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you should consult with an experienced attorney at the Boca Raton office of Lavalle, Brown & Ronan. Our lawyers are committed to helping accident victims recover, so please call today for your consultation and to discuss a possible case.