Distracted Driving Lawyers
Legal Help for Distracted Driving Issues
The escalating number of crashes caused each year by distracted drivers has fueled a growing subspecialty for personal injury law practices: distracted driving litigation. Attorneys specializing in distracted driving lawsuits are masters at handling the fall-out from automobile crashes resulting from driver negligence due to the wireless phone use, text messaging or the careless manipulation of other in-car technology. Able to help victims who’ve suffered injuries and damages or perpetrators facing criminal or civil lawsuits, distracted driving lawyers have the expertise, knowledge and resources to reconstruct and investigate crashes more extensively than general practice attorneys, enabling them to identify and prove fault.
While in motion, a car can be a deadly weapon. More than 2.5 million people suffer injuries and 45,000 people die yearly in vehicle accidents. Most are killed due to driver distraction. If the drivers survive, they often face felony or misdemeanor charges in addition to civil suits by families of victims seeking compensation for medical costs, burial expenses or pain and suffering.
Distracted Driving Situations That Might Require Legal Representation
Texting While Driving
Whether quickly replying to a text at a stoplight or brazenly attempting to type while in motion, teens are notorious for driving while texting. In a recent survey, more than 50 percent of teens confessed to texting while behind the steering wheel, a practice that can shift focus from the road, delay reaction times and impair judgment.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the top cause of fatal driving accidents among people aged 15 to 20 is texting while driving; this dangerous habit accounts for 33 percent of teen automobile deaths. Experts cite a mix of teen bravado and a lack of driving experience for the road recklessness among this age group.
Other age groups, while not as careless, still account for numerous fatal collisions resulting from texting and driving.
No matter how fast a human thumb can type a text, it’s not fast enough to prevent distraction. The Virginia Tech Transportation Administration found that texting takes a driver’s eyes from the road for 4.6 seconds; in that amount of time, a car traveling at 55 miles per hour can traverse the distance of a football field. Texting drivers drive such distances blindly multiple times a day, increasing their risk of crashing by 23 percent.
Using A Cell Phone While Driving
While most states have enacted laws prohibiting driving while talking on a wireless phone, many drivers are not shy about being seen holding a phone while behind the wheel. The NHTSA estimates that 6 percent of drivers still use hand-held phones on the road for non-emergency communications. Another 11 percent use hands-free phones, but even those can distract drivers enough that they make errors and cause collisions. All total, roughly 800,000 people are on the road using phones at any hour of the day.
All age groups, including elderly drivers over 70, have some propensity to drive while conversing on the phone. Most users are confident that they can safety multi-task -- until they make a fatal impact.
Other Common Distractions
Besides phone calls and texts, drivers can cause crashes while distracted by a range of behaviors, including the following:
- applying makeup,
- changing a radio station,
- adjusting an MP3 player or changing a CD,
- programming a GPS device,
- viewing a video,
- eating food or consuming a beverage,
- reading a newspaper, book or other literature
- talking to other people in the car.
All these electronic diversions require a driver to use eyes, hands and mental attention, all of which should be reserved for safe and defensive driving.
A distracted driving lawyer can help teens and adults in situations where driver negligence due to technology or other carelessness has caused the driver to hit a pedestrian, cyclist or another vehicle, whether on a highway, a city street or on an exit or entrance ramp. Many law firms do not require victims or their families to pay legal fees until the case is won and a financial settlement has been made. Consultations are often free.