What You Should Know About Distracted Driving

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    January 28 2019

    According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 37,133 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2017.  Of those fatalities, 3,166 of them involved distracted drivers.  

    Distracted by a text.

    This problem is only getting getting worse over time.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that that Virginia drivers in 2018 were 57% more likely to use their cell phones while driving than when they conducted the same study in 2014.

    What Is Distracted Driving?

    Distracted driving is any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from driving.  This includes cell phone use, text messaging, eating, adjusting the stereo or navigation system.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines three different categories of distracted driving:

    • Visual distraction – A visual distraction is anything that causes a driver to take his or her eyes off of the road.
    • Manual distraction – A manual distraction is anything that takes a driver’s hands off of the steering wheel or gear shift while driving.
    • Cognitive distraction – A cognitive distraction is anything that takes a driver’s focus away from driving.

    Sending a text message or using social media while driving is especially dangerous because it involves all three types of distractions.  Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds. If you’re driving at 55 mph, this is enough time to drive the length of an entire football field.  That is more than enough time to cause a distracted driving accident.

    What To Do if the At-Fault Driver was Texting

    If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you may be wondering what to do next.  

    First, seek immediate medical attention for any serious injuries.

    While you are still at the scene of the accident, contact law enforcement to report the accident.  Use your own phone to take pictures of the car accident scene and any damage and injuries.

    Finally, you should seek legal help.  An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you conduct an appropriate investigation.  A distracted driver may try to hide his or her electronic device, but it’s possible to obtain a subpoena of cell phone records to compare the timestamps of calls and texts to the time of the accident.

    Experienced Distracted Driving Attorneys

    If you or a loved one have been in an accident with a distracted driver, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about your options.  Contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today to set up a free consultation at (702) 987-0202.

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