How Distracted Driving Can Cause an Accident
Distracted driving is becoming the number one cause of traffic accidents. This is partly because of the busy schedules kept by many people where two or three jobs are common. It is also due to the overuse of multitasking in our society. However, multitasking while driving is a sure-fire way to collide with another vehicle and injure innocent drivers and their passengers.
The primary definition of a distracted driver is a motorist’s failure to focus exclusively on the road. Experts in the field use four elements to describe distracted driving as noted below:
Defining Distracted Driving
- Manual: This happens when a driver’s hands are removed from the wheel. It can be caused when a driver texts. The motorist’s ability to control their vehicle is reduced.
- Auditory distractions: Drivers use all their senses when they drive safely. An example of this is hearing another motorist using their horn to alert a driver to possible danger. If the driver is too busy talking to others in the vehicle, they may miss the alert and cause a rear-end collision.
- Visual distraction: Reading an email or a text removes the driver’s focus and eyes from the road up ahead. So does the use of GPS or adjusting the radio. By doing this, the motorist misses seeing a car slowing down or stopping in the lane ahead.
- Cognitive distraction: A driver should be thinking about the road ahead and nothing more. Yet our minds are often worried about other things, interfering with safe travel.
Using a Cell Phone While Driving
Undeniably, chatting on a cell phone while driving is a threat to traffic safety. In one scenario, the driver may be talking to another person and lose their focus on the road and be involved in a car crash. In another, the driver is texting or reading and responding to emails. The latter is, according to various studies, the most dangerous.
Texting and Driving
The main reason texting causes so many car accidents is that it involves the use of all three types of distraction. This combination puts the driver at risk of a traffic accident. In addition, it often occurs on congested, high-speed roads. Since a vehicle can travel a long distance in five seconds, which is the average time a person takes to read, write and send a text, the risk of a fatal accident is heightened at 55 mph.
Proving the Driver Was Distracted
In some cases, proving a driver was distracted prior to a car accident requires strict observation of roadway marks and reliance on video surveillance tapes at the scene by an investigative team. Other ways to determine the timeframe within which the vehicle’s brakes were applied can be obtained from the car’s black box.
If the driver was sending or obtaining texts prior to the accident, it is easier to prove a distraction. Your attorney can obtain phone records from the cellular company. He can use it to determine if phone calls or texts were happening around the time of the crash.
Travis Law Firm in Erie, Pennsylvania
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a distracted driving case, you can file a lawsuit or wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. Call the Travis Law Firm at (814) 277-2222 to set up a free review of your case. You will be able to get to know our investigative and legal teams and ask questions about your case. We will also give you your options moving forward. We can be reached online if it’s more convenient.