DISTRACTED DRIVER ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Distracted Driving Accidents in Arizona
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that during 2016, 3,450 people died in accidents involving distracted drivers in the United States. In addition to the fatalities in distraction-related accidents, 391,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted motorists. In Arizona, 741 motor vehicle accidents involved a driver who was distracted.
It is estimated that roughly 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while operating a vehicle during daylight hours. While teen drivers may be the largest age group of drivers who are distracted when fatal car crashes occur, drivers of all ages are guilty of making the dangerous decision to drive while distracted.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
When a driver is operating a motor vehicle, the driver’s focus should be on the road ahead. If a person allows his or her focus to stray from the task of driving, car accidents can occur. The result can be catastrophic.
Depending on the type of distraction, the driver may take his eyes off the road, his mind off driving, and his hands off the wheel. Because of the distraction, the driver’s reaction time decreases dramatically. For example, a driver who takes his eyes off the road to read a text message can travel the distance of a football field in four seconds when the car is traveling at 55 miles per hour. In those four seconds, a pedestrian can begin to cross the road, a vehicle in front may slow down, or the motorist could drift into another lane. A few seconds of distraction can cause a collision that takes a person’s life or causes a life-altering injury.
Examples of Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents
Many people assume that distracted driving only involves using a cell phone. However, there are many distractions that can cause an auto accident.
Examples of potentially dangerous and deadly distractions include:
- Reading a text message
- Talking on the phone
- Texting while driving
- Eating and drinking
- Grooming or putting on makeup
- Adjusting the vehicle controls
- Taking care of children
- Interacting with passengers
- Looking at things outside of the vehicle
- Programming the GPS
Consequences of Allowing Distractions While Driving
When an accident occurs, people can be injured. The consequences of those injuries can be life-altering. For example, a person who suffers a spinal cord injury may be completely paralyzed. The injury victim will need ongoing medical care and personal care for the rest of his life. The financial and emotional damages will be extensive.
Even if a person suffers a minor injury that heals within a few months, the damages can be substantial. A broken bone can require surgery and physical therapy causing the person to miss a few months of work. Who is responsible for paying the costs and damages caused by the crash?
The driver who caused the accident can be held liable for damages in a personal injury claim. The victim may recover compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
The amount of compensation a person may recover for a claim depends on many factors. Hiring an experienced Arizona distracted driving accident attorney can help protect the rights of an injured victim.