Attention Drivers: It's Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Motorists need to concentrate on the road to avoid causing a car accident
Drivers need to be focused on the road at all times. When they’re not, serious car accidents can happen fast due to distracted driving. That’s why road safety experts designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
End Distracted Driving is one of the organizations promoting this month-long educational effort. The group was created by Joel Feldman, whose daughter was killed by a distracted driver while she was crossing a street.
“I can’t bring my daughter back, but I can talk to kids,” Feldman said in an interview with NPR. “I’m very, very fortunate talking to some wonderful kids across the country, and it’s the young who are going to change how we’re going to drive.”
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. In general, driver distractions fall into three main categories:
- Manual distractions – Anything that takes the driver’s hands off the wheel. Such activities can include texting, changing the radio, eating food, or using an infotainment system.
- Visual distractions – Anything that takes the driver’s eyes off the road. This can include looking at a map while driving, self-grooming, or rubbernecking.
- Cognitive distractions – Anything that takes the driver’s mind off the act of driving. This can include reading something on a cell phone, chatting with passengers, or even having strong emotions such as anger or frustration.
It's worth noting that all three types of distraction apply to reading, writing, or sending a text message while driving. This is why so many states have laws banning texting while driving or even using a cell phone in any way while driving.
How common are distracted driving accidents?
In recent years, distracted driving has become one of the most common causes of car accidents in the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiles accident statistics, including data about distracted driving:
- 58 percent of car accidents caused by teen drivers involve driver distraction.
- 27 percent of all car accidents involve drivers using a cell phone.
- On average, 7 percent of all fatal car accidents are caused by distracted drivers.
- An estimated 400,000 people are injured every year in crashes caused by distracted drivers.
- An estimated 3,100 people die each year in distracted driving accidents.
What to do when you're injured by a distracted driver
If a distracted driver caused your accident, you usually have several different options available to you to pursue compensation for your losses, depending on where your accident happened (laws vary from one state to another). But in general, options usually include:
- Accept a settlement offer from the at-fault driver or the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Ask for more money and negotiate a better settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- File a car accident lawsuit and seek financial compensation in court.
The last option might be the best course of action, especially if the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith or denies your injury claim. Either way, an experienced car accident attorney can help you through every step in the process.
Car accident lawyers helping families since 1952
You might think you don’t need an attorney if a distracted driver (especially one on a cell phone) caused your collision. But just because you were not at fault does not mean that your injury claim will be straightforward. Many legal issues often come up in these types of cases. That’s why it’s critical that you have an experienced attorney on your side, standing up for your rights.
At Recht Law Offices, our car accident lawyers can demand the money you rightfully deserve. Founded in 1952, our law firm has been there for crash victims and their families when they need us the most. We have extensive experience handling personal injury cases in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. As a result, we know how the legal system works in all three states and what it takes to get you the results you deserve.