Distracted driving happens when a person engages in any activity that diverts his/ her attention from driving. Mobile technological advancements including smart phones are on the rise today, and their usage continues to increase day in, day out. Making and receiving calls, sending text messages, and using navigation technology systems are some of the activities that can easily divert a person’s attention while driving. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 21 percent of motor vehicles crashes involve use cell phones and other hand held devices. Activities that can create distractions while on the road are not limited to using cell phones only. A driver’s attention can also be diverted by other actions such as drinking, eating, attending to passengers, adjusting temperature panels, smoking, adjusting the radio, map reading, grooming, or watching a video.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about nine people are killed, and over 1,000 injured in accidents involving distracted drivers every day in the United States alone. In 2015, NHTSA reported approximately 3, 478 deaths and above 350,000 injuries due to distracted driving. Every year, more than 420,000 people suffer injuries related to and involving a distracted driver according to distracted driver accidents.com. Distracted driving has been reported as one of the leading causes of cars accidents, and has in the past years, developed as one of the most noticeable road safety concerns worldwide.
Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can be categorized as follows, according to a policy statement by the NHTSA:
- Cognitive distraction – this type occurs when you let your mind wander away while you are driving.
- Visual distraction – this kind happens when you take your eyes off the road even for a moment.
- Manual distraction – this type occurs when you take your hands off the steering wheel to engage in another different operation.
Common Distracted Driving Injuries
Distracted driving can cause several injuries. Common injuries that can you can sustain as a result of a distracted driver include the following:
- Head damage
- Muscle damage
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Vision damage
- Fractured limbs
- Hearing loss
- Unintentional death
What Can You Do After a Distracted Driving Accident?
If you or a relative of yours are involved in a distracted driving accident, there are several things that you can do to protect your interests. The fact is, you or your loved one deserve to be recompensed for the pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, or even wrongful death. Some of the things you can do to prepare yourself as a result of such an incident include the following:
- Check and ensure all the persons involved in the accident are safe.
- Notify the authorities by calling 911 even when you think the injuries are not severe.
- Take pictures of the crash scene to better prepare and help the legal process if any.
- Record sustained injuries in picture form to support any subsequent legal procedures that may occur after the accident.
- Obtain eyewitnesses contact details and information.
- Request to get copies of police reports regarding the accident.
- Keep a record of all your medical bills.
- Request for the driver’s contact details and insurance card information.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney
Some distracted driving accidents are trivial and can easily be resolved without involving an attorney. However, you should call a personal injury law firm in case you sustained extensive injuries that will require continued medical care and attention, or if you’ll need home health care, you are permanently disabled after the accident, or the distracted driver insurance company only offers a fair payment or refuses to pay.
A law firm will represent you in obtaining a better settlement for sustained injuries. Since they are knowledgeable about personal injury law, personal injury attorneys will represent and ensure compensation for any sustained damages you incur. You can always count on personal injury lawyers to assist you to obtain all the support you need including money as a result of a distracted driving accident. With this, you can cater for all your medical bills and any other costs that could be related to the crash.