Even if we try to be safe drivers at all times, we cannot control how other drivers behave behind the wheel. Car accidents continue to happen for a number of reasons, and those involving distracted drivers are on the rise across the U.S. Although the majority of Americans knowingly recognize that driving while distracted can be dangerous, an alarmingly high amount of drivers do it anyway. So, what happens when you are involved in an accident that’s caused by a distracted driver? Let’s take a look at the prevalence of distracted driving and what to do if you suffer an injury in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver.
A Widespread Problem
As smartphones have become more engaging, tempting drivers with the possibility of reading or sending a quick text, snapping a picture, or streaming a short video clip, more drivers are taking their eyes off of the road long enough to put themselves and other drivers at risk for serious injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), texting is a particularly dangerous activity to do while driving, as taking your eyes off the road for only five seconds is long enough to cover the length of a football field while traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour. In that brief window of looking at your phone, you could slam into a vehicle in front of you at a speed that would likely cause serious injury, or even death. In 2015 alone, 391,000 people were injured in auto accidents involving a distracted driver. While states scramble to implement more laws and restrictions to reduce distracted driving behaviors, many people still admit that they sneak a peek at their phones while driving.
Putting Yourself and Others at Risk
Even though most everyone has heard about the dangers of distracted driving, many people quietly admit that they look at their phones or text behind the wheel from time to time. According to a January 2020 survey of 2,000 Americans, 28.6 percent of respondents admitted to texting while driving. Of course, this is only the percentage of individuals who admitted to this risky behavior—the reality is likely much higher. Of those who admitted to texting while driving, many claimed that they felt a tremendous amount of pressure to respond to a text immediately, even if it meant jeopardizing their safety and that of those sharing the road with them. In particular, respondents stated that they felt the need to respond to work-related texts and emails, no matter where they were. This means that, even if you are practicing safe and attentive driving behaviors, there is a high probability that many of your fellow drivers are not following suit.
What to do When an Accident Occurs
If you’re involved in an auto accident and you suspect that the other driver may have been distracted at the time, you should first assess the scene for any injuries. Call for an ambulance if necessary, and make sure to contact the police so that the responding officer can file a report and look into whether distracted driving contributed to the accident. The more documentation from the scene that you can gather, the stronger your chances will be at filing a successful personal injury claim and recovering compensation for your injuries. It’s wise to reach out to a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for pursuing compensation. While you focus on your recovery, your attorney will work hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you need in order to move on with your life.
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident and you need help recovering compensation, reach out to Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation today at 1-888-WORK (9675) to speak to a dedicated personal injury lawyer.