Distracted Driving Accidents Lawyers
The Virginia distracted driving accident lawyers of MartinWren, P.C. have experience pursuing claims on behalf of individuals who have been injured by a distracted driver. Generally speaking, distracted driving occurs when a driver’s attention is diverted by some secondary activity – sending text messages, reading emails, eating food, talking by telephone – while the driver is supposed to be driving a moving car.
The number of accidents caused by Virginia distracted drivers has increased significantly with the increased use of cell phones. Not only are drivers distracted by making and receiving phone calls while driving, many drivers transmit text messages and emails while driving. There have also been horrific stories of injuries and deaths caused by drivers using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts.
This explosion in the amount of text messaging, emailing, and social media use while driving is particularly dangerous because it involves three different kinds of distractions:
- visual distraction, as the driver takes his or her eyes off the road to look at a cell phone;
- manual distraction, where, in addition to taking his or her eyes off the road, the driver is using at least one of his or her hands to type or scroll through pages; and
- mental distraction, where, instead of concentrating on driving and responding to hazards and dangers, the driver’s attention is focused on some other thing or event.
According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, a driver who texts takes their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds to write or read a text message. If that driver is traveling at 55 miles per hour, that driver will have traveled the entire length of a football field without even looking. This helps explain why texting and driving is so dangerous.
Statistics regarding distracted driving are nothing short of alarming:
- A study from the University of Utah has shown that the impairments caused by cell phone use while driving “can be as profound as those associated with driving while drunk”;
- Distracted driving is the number one cause of death of teenagers;
- For 2011, the Department of Transportation reported that ten percent of fatal crashes and seventeen percent of injury crashes involved distracted driving;
- Of cell phone use, the use with the highest level of distraction was text messaging; dialing a ten-digit number was the second most distracting; and tuning a radio was the lowest form of distraction;
- Drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 comprise the age group with the largest proportion of distracted drivers.
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What You Should Know About Distracted Driving
Whether you are heading to the grocery store or a trip out of town, driving takes an incredible amount of concentration. If you take your focus off the road for even a few seconds, you increase your risk of getting into an accident. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of vehicle collisions. Here are some things you should know about distracted driving.
Cell Phones Aren’t the Only Causes of Distraction
While cell phones certainly cause a large number of distracted driving accidents, they are not the only type of distraction drivers are exposed to. Anything that causes a driver to take their hands or mind off the wheel counts as a distraction. For example, many people rush out the door in the morning and eat their breakfast in the car. This causes them to take at least one hand off the wheel, increasing the risk of an accident. Drivers also commonly get distracted by other passengers, grooming and reaching for various items.
Your Mood Can Distract You from Driving
If you are overwhelmed with anger, sadness, or another emotion, it can distract your attention off the road. You might be thinking about what’s bothering you instead of focusing on driving. If you are feeling very emotional, it may be best to let someone else drive. However, if that is not possible, you should take a few breaths and wait a few minutes before you get behind the wheel. Doing this can help calm your mind.
It’s Better Put Your Belongings in the Front Seat Than the Back Seat
Before you drive off, make sure the items you will need during the ride, such as sunglasses and water bottles, are in the front seat. If you put them in the back seat, you will have to reach farther for them and increase your risk of getting into an accident.
Making Rest Stops May Prevent Accidents
If you are traveling a long distance, it is important to make rest stops regularly. Driving for long hours can mentally drain you and make it more difficult to focus on the road. Even if you are set on getting to your destination as quickly as possible, it’s worth it to make rest stops.
The Type of Music You Select Can Affect Your Driving
Listening to music can definitely make a long drive more pleasurable. However, if you listen to your favorite songs at the highest volume, you might get distracted from driving. If you want to listen to music, you should stick to soft music at low volumes.
Were You Hit By a Distracted Driver?
If you were hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important talk to one of the Virginia distracted driving accident lawyers from MartinWren, P.C. about your situation as soon as possible. An attorney can review the details in your case and advise you the best way to proceed.
Distracted driving is often the cause of accidents involving commercial vehicles or tractor trailers. In addition, distracting driving may be the cause of rear-end collisions, which can lead to significant injuries. Because distracted driving cases may involve complicated factual issues and legal questions, it is important to have a lawyer knowledgeable about distracted driving accident cases when investigating the accident.
Get Help From the VA Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers!
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, please call MartinWren, P.C.’s Virginia distracted driving accident lawyers, either Kirk D. Becchi or Jonathan T. Wren, toll free, at 855-812-9220, or at (434) 817-3100 to schedule a free consultation. We can meet with you at your convenience, at your home, our office, or the hospital, including on evenings and weekends. Remember, when you have been injured in a situation like this, get the help of one of the Virginia distracted driving accident lawyers from MartinWren, P.C. today.