In a world with increasing access to new technologies, people are more distracted than ever when they are operating vehicles and the results are alarmingly catastrophic. Studies have shown that eight out of ten car accidents involve some form of distraction in the moments prior to collision— which means that most of the accidents occurring today are not only preventable, but the result of carelessness and a poor choice of priorities. When operating a vehicle, it should be every motorist’s first priority to ensure that he or she is focused on the road and is prepared to take the required steps to prevent an accident. Dividing attention between driving and other tasks is irresponsible and drivers must be held liable for the harm they cause when they don’t consider the potential harm they can inflict while driving distracted.
Most Common Distractions
Access to new wireless technologies has increased the number of devices people can become distracted by when operating a vehicle. The best practice is simply to wait until you’ve reached your destination to check your devices but most people simply cannot resist the urge to take incoming calls or respond to text messages and the people who pay for our distractions are the hundreds of thousands of victims injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. The most common distractions that result in accidents are the following.
- Cell phone usage such as text messaging, checking email, speaking on the phone or using smart phone applications. Drivers who are using their phones for these purposes divert their eyes from the road frequently and are twenty-three times more likely to be involved in an accident.
- Putting on makeup or grooming while driving. Drivers who choose to apply makeup or do their hair while on the road are placing others at risk and are three times more likely to collide with another vehicle.
- Reaching for an object while driving. Drivers may be distracted when reaching for an object that has fallen to the floor or when trying to locate an object such as a phone while it is ringing.
- Eating or drinking while driving. Drivers may be distracted when using their hands to balance their food or keep it from spilling and may have diminished reaction time when required to respond to a danger in the road.
Seeking Compensation from a Distracted Driver
There is simply no excuse for driving while distracted and the injuries that result are completely preventable. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, it is important that you collect as much information and evidence as possible so that your attorney may prove the negligence of the other driver when seeking damages. If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident, all of the vehicles involved and any other evidence regardless of how insignificant it may seem.
Holding distracted drivers accountable is a necessary step toward preventing future accidents. If you can prove that the driver was distracted prior to your accident, you may be able to receive compensation on the grounds that he or she acted negligently and recklessly. You are entitled then to damages that include medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. The Chicago Injury Center has access to the resources needed to accurately determine the economic impact of your injuries so that you may seek compensation that is appropriate and provides for your needs during your recovery.
If you have been injured in an accident, the Chicago Injury Center is available both as a resource for information relevant to your legal rights and options and to assist you in finding an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who will best represent your interests. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation so that you may learn more about the legal process, your rights and whether it is in your best interest to pursue legal action against the person responsible for your injuries. Each of our lawyers works on a contingency basis so you will never be required to pay for our services unless we are able to collect compensation on your behalf.