Most people think that texting while driving is okay or doable, and if that is so, then you’re in for a surprise. No, texting and driving can’t go hand in hand if you want to keep the roads safe and save yourself from a world of pain. Distracted driving is dangerous.

Thousands of accidents, every year, are accredited to distracted driving throughout the U.S. These distracted-driving-related crashes also lead to thousands of traffic fatalities, so much so that some states have not seen a single week without a traffic accident fatality!

This article will explain why exactly distracted driving is so dangerous, even with a couple of clicks on your handheld phone, and why you should never busy yourself elsewhere when driving.

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Defining Distracted Driving

Anything that keeps you from giving your undivided attention to the road, constitutes as a distraction and a risk to public safety on the road. It any be anything at all, from something as complicated as texting someone to simply having a chat with the passengers on board – if a fraction of your attentiveness is diverted away from the road, then it is called distracted driving.

Most distracted drivers, though they admit that indulging in hand-held cell phone use while driving is not okay, think that they can do multiple things at a time without any consequences. This popular belief has led to the misbranding of indulging in distractive activities while driving as multi-tasking.

Don’t be misled by this sugar-coating, no matter how much faith you put into your motor skills and cognitive prowess, distractions can lead to disaster and the inattentive driver is always the one to blame; only distraction-free driving is safe, nothing else.

Handheld cell phones and assorted electronic devices are the biggest source of cognitive distraction for drivers, and have necessitated safe driving discussions to cut down fatalities.

Let’s say that you’re dialing a number on the phone while driving and suddenly, a sedan ahead of you comes to a hasty stop, you hear the screech, and hard-press on the brakes to avoid a crash.

However, it’s already too late.

In the seconds leading to the sharp sound of tires rubbing against the road, the car’s brake-lights had lit up like a pair of Christmas trees to warn of you of its deceleration, but you failed to notice those for obvious reasons.

This is just one example of how driver distractions such as cell phone distractions cut the human reaction time/window of response to such sudden events making avoidable motor vehicle crashes inevitable, and why safety advocates are strictly against texting and driving.

This is more common with novice drivers and teen drivers (even school students occupy a major percent of drivers here) than with any other group. However, apart from 16-24-year-old drivers, adult drivers, and even school bus drivers can fall for distractions and pose a dangerous crash risk.

Types Of Damages Caused By Distracted Driving Accidents

As with all types of motor vehicle wrecks, distracted driving accidents cause both economic and non-economic damages to drivers and their passengers. The former is the easier of the two in terms of calculations: all you have to do is, to sum up, all the bills and factor in any long-term expenses and that’s it.

Medical bills take the biggest chunk of these damages, usually, however, in some cases, property damages are also severe especially if the vehicle gets totaled, then there are lost wages and special damages. Wrongful deaths (fatal crashes) are the worst though as they leave an entire household without their beloved, who, in some cases, may be the sole bread-earner of the family.

But even in moderate cases, injuries like whiplash, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, muscle damage, bone fractures, lacerations, bruises, and so on, are quite common. Thus the physical toll alone can be overwhelming for the victim, even without the added emotional and financial pressures.

The pain and suffering brought about by these losses constitute non-economic losses and these are added upon (or in some cases, used as multiples) to create the total settlement sum.

Distracted Driving Is Dangerous

teenage girl responds to a text while driving in florida

Distracted driving is an illegal activity even if the extent of legal control over such actions is limited due to practical reasons, even though there are texting bans in place.

But even more than that, distracted driving studies have shown that it is a public safety hazard and a major concern for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well.

Cognitive and visual distractions creates unnecessary risks for people, not justed inexperienced drivers but across the board including even commercial vehicle drivers, many of whom fall prey to fatalities in distraction accidents.

Traffic safety facts researchers from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have concluded in their distracted driving study that of the scores of accidents that happen across the USA every single day, a minimum of nine people loses their lives daily due to distracted driving crashes.

Also, over one thousand people face serious injuries because of distraction-related crashes.

The instances of such wrecks are so common that they’ve become a major road safety issue and there is a dire need to redevelop our approach to teen crash risks & prevention, and to spread the message of responsible driving to the entire spectrum.

Think twice before texting or emailing while already performing the task of driving, it’s not worth it!

What To Do If You Fall Victim To A Distracted Driving Accident?

If you were involved in a distracted driving accident, you should waste no time and get started with preparing for the settlement process right from the accident scene, of course, if you can. Unless you’re seriously injured, in which case you’d probably be rushed to the hospital, try and do all of these:

  • Collect photographic and video evidence of the accident
  • Seek the contact information of the at-fault driver and any witnesses present nearby
  • Note down any details you notice on the accident scene
  • Call the police to the scene, tell the reporting officers all that you can remember, and ask for a copy of their police report
  • Seek medical attention within 72 hours of the accident and keep your medical records, diagnostic reports, and medical bills with you
  • Keep track of your economic losses and extra expenses that resulted due to the accident
  • Journal your sufferings, both physical and mental, to present a clearer picture of your troubles to the insurance adjuster
  • Seek legal consultation before approaching the insurance company
  • Depending on whether you live in an at-fault state or a no-fault state, reach out to your insurance company or that of the liable party
  • Settle for a sum only if it covers all of your economic and non-economic losses

As the victim, you’ll be on the higher ground when it comes to the settlement negotiations, given that you showed responsibility via safe driving yourself. Of course, the driver who acted neglectfully will be the one who’ll have to pay for all the damages caused by their actions or inaction.

However, if you live in a state that follows the no-fault statute, things may be a bit difficult for you as these states require your insurance coverage to deal with your issues.

But there is no point in throwing away your case before you’ve even begun pursuing your legal rights. If the accident was severe, there is a good enough chance that you may be able to demand compensation from the responsible party, even in a no-fault state like Florida.

Just keep all the records and details safe with you, seek timely legal advice, and play your cards right – this way, you will surely get compensated fairly.

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Just one last thing, don’t accept their first offer, that’s the least they can offer.

Distracted driving accidents are horrific and the economic and non-economic damages that happen as a result are not easy to deal with either. Your best bet in such cases is to seek competent and professional legal representation at all levels of the settlement process and thus secure fair compensation for your losses.

However, most people decide to go on and handle such complicated matters on their own, fearing that they won’t be able to afford legal fees. You should house no such fear in your heart because we, at the VG Law Group, are committed to offering our clients unparalleled legal services on their terms.

This means that we won’t ask for any advance on our fees or charge you for consultation.

Call us now to learn more!

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