The potential to be distracted by something while driving has always been around, but it may be happening more often than ever before. As personal device use among drivers has risen, so have the number of accident and fatalities of those using those devices. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the incidences of distracted driving deaths have risen from about 3000 a year in 2010 to about 3500 in 2016. If your injury was directly caused by a distracted driver, your personal injury case might deserve special attention, so read on to find out more.
What is distracted driving?
Almost anything that takes a driver's attention away from the road falls into the category of distracted driving. The number of distractions has risen considerably thanks to the increasing use of personal communication devices, but distracted driving can include a number of distractions:
1. Cell phones: talking, texting, viewing email, etc.
2. Using the radio, CD player, blue tooth, satellite radio system, or other music or entertainment devices
3. Watching DVDs or using the navigational system
4. Eating and applying makeup
5. Dealing with children or talking to other car occupants
Does it matter what caused the wreck?
If another person hits you and caused you to be injured, then you are entitled to be paid money damages. The amount you can receive depends on several factors, like:
1. Your medical expenses and the severity of your injuries
2. Whether or not the other driver is 100% at fault for the wreck
3. Your other expenses, like lost wages and pain and suffering
You can be paid regardless of the cause of the wreck, and often wrecks are caused by the driver being careless. Distracted driving accidents, however, are in a category all their own. Not only are your chances for compensation elevated, but it's also probably going to be easier to prove fault.
Proving distracted driving
Law enforcement authorities who arrive at an accident scene are always on the alert for causation in an accident. They look for signs of driver impairment as well as that of a distraction. Proving the driver was distracted may not be as difficult as it might seem. Some distracted drivers readily admit to using a device, but there are other ways to prove the driver was distracted at the time of the accident:
1. Passengers of the involved vehicles state the driver was using a device.
2. Eye-witnesses testify to seeing the driver use a device.
3. Cell phone records verify the use of the device.
Drivers who are found to have been using a device or was distracted before a wreck can be charged criminally. If you are suing the driving to obtain monetary relief, the compensation can be higher due to the potential for the judge to award punitive damages on top of your regular damages. Speak to your local auto accident attorneys to find out more about distracted driving and your accident compensation.