Due to many technological advances, distracted driving on Arizona roadways is becoming a bigger problem than ever. In fact, driving while distracted is one of the leading causes of Phoenix auto accidents.
A driver distraction can be defined as any attention given to a non-driving-related activity while operating a motor vehicle, typically to the detriment of driving performance.
If you have been involved in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be eligible to pursue legal recourse for your losses. Complete the form on the right to schedule a no-obligation consultation with an experienced distracted driving attorney.
Common Driver Distractions
Distractions can be separated into three categories:
- Visual distractions take the drivers eyes off the road.
- Cognitive distractions take the drivers mind off the road.
- Manual distractions take the drivers hands off of the steering wheel.
Oftentimes, a distraction involves a combination of these categories. Some of the most common forms of driver distractions include:
- Cell phone use, including answering the phone, talking on the phone, dialing a phone number and texting.
- Talking to a passenger within the vehicle.
- Reaching for an object inside the car.
- Using a GPS.
- Applying makeup.
- Having a pet in the vehicle.
- Eating or drinking.
- Manipulating radio controls or using portable music devices.
- Looking at something outside of the car, such as a billboard or an accident (also known as rubbernecking).
According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80 percent of all crashes and 85 percent of near-crashes involve some type of driver distraction.
Cell phone use is, by far, the most common driver distraction. At any given moment during typical daytime hours, as many as 10 percent of drivers are using a cell phone.
In 2009, there were over 5,400 fatalities reported that were directly related to a distracted driver and about 448,000 people were injured.
Distracted Driver Prevention
Cell phone use is one of the top driver distractions. If you absolutely must use a cell phone while driving, use the following tips in order to avoid causing a wreck:
- Assess traffic conditions before using your phone. Avoid talking on the phone in bad traffic or inclement weather.
- Use speed dial if possible.
- Dial the number when the vehicle has stopped moving or, if possible, have a passenger dial for you.
- Keep your phone within reach.
- Use either a hands-free device or speaker phone.
While these tips are helpful if you must use a cellphone, the best way to avoid driver distraction is to eliminate cell phone use altogether while behind the wheel.
The following tips will help you to avoid common driver distractions:
- Allow yourself enough time to stop, rest from driving and eat a meal, rather than eating while behind the wheel.
- Buckle up children and give them things to keep them entertained, such as books, games or other car-appropriate toys to occupy them while driving.
- If children are misbehaving, pull over.
- If driving with a pet in the car, properly secure them in a pet carrier or pet harness. Never allow them to sit in your lap while you are driving.
- Adjust vehicle controls either before you leave or when you are at a full stop.
- Do not check e-mail, voicemail or other portable devices once you have begun driving.
- If there are passengers in the vehicle, ask them to adjust the radio, climate control or navigation system for you.
Contact a Distracted Driving Attorney
Distracted drivers are a danger to everyone on the road, including other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. With our ability and tendency to multi-task, auto accidents caused by driver distractions are becoming more and more commonplace.
The insurance company that represents a distracted driver will typically try to limit or deny your claim of injury by stating that you had some degree of fault in causing the accident. An experienced auto accident attorney can recreate the scene of the collision in order to prove that distraction was a reasonable cause for the crash.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries and property damage due to a distracted driving wreck, you may be able to recover compensation for losses related to the accident.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to car accident victims or to begin exploring your legal options, contact Phillips Law Group today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation with one of our attorneys.