How can you tell if you’ve been hit by a distracted driver? What are the distracted driving statistics on cell phone usage and fatal car accidents? When is it necessary to call a car accident lawyer?
We at Pierce Skrabanek have compiled important distracted driving facts below, including the first steps you should take after an accident to secure evidence and assert your rights.
If you need more specific legal advice or support right away, you can call our offices at (832) 690-7000 for answers and potential representation.
Table of Contents
- What Is Distracted Driving?
- What Should You Do After a Distracted Driving Accident?
- What Could a Distracted Driving Car Accident Settlement Mean for You?
- Distracted Driving Statistics
- How To Minimize Distractions While Driving
- Contact a Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyer
- Testimonials for Pierce Skrabanek
- Distracted Driving Accident FAQs
What Is Distracted Driving?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a motorist is considered a distracted driver in one of three major ways:
- Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
- Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
- Cognitive: Taking your mind off the task of driving
In practical terms, it’s impossible to avoid becoming distracted while driving every second you’re behind the wheel. You may have to reach for an inhaler, turn your head to notice a rushing deer near the road, or think about important breaking news you’ve just heard on the radio. This is why it’s important for all drivers to minimize every distraction they can while operating their vehicles (tips included lower on the page).
What Should You Do After a Distracted Driving Accident?
No matter how safely you drive, sometimes accidents happen. If you’ve been impacted by a distracted driver, what should you do? Here are the first steps.
- Call for help: Contact police and medical help to report the incident and get treatment for any injuries.
- Document the damage: To the best of your ability, take pictures of your vehicle and the other car to show damages. Also try to document evidence that may prove the other driver was distracted, like photographing active electronics, loose food, rowdy passengers, or obstructed views.
- Record your observations: If you notice anything that may be relevant later, include it in the police report, or record a message to yourself that shows the timestamp—such real-time information may matter greatly in a courtroom.
- Contact a car accident attorney: If you need advice on how to protect your rights, if you are injured and cannot gather evidence without help, or if you think you’ve got a legal case, contact a lawyer with car accident experience as soon as possible.
There are statutes of limitations involved in personal injury and auto accident cases, meaning that there is a limited amount of time for you to file a legal action. Contact an experienced car accident injury lawyer from Pierce Skrabanek as soon as possible, and empower us to build a case and meet those deadlines on your behalf.
After a distracted driving accident, an experienced car accident injury attorney from Pierce Skrabanek can gather evidence and protect your rights as you seek medical care.
What Could a Distracted Driving Car Accident Settlement Mean for You?
Due to the high speeds and unforgiving nature of large vehicles, injuries from car accidents can be catastrophic. If your needs after a distracted driving car accident require more than what the insurance companies offered, a lawsuit could help cover:
- The cost of medical bills and recovery therapy
- Lost wages and employment benefits or advancement opportunities
- Pain and suffering damages caused by physical injury and psychological trauma
- Punitive damages that are charged to wrongdoers in accidents and then awarded to you
- Wrongful death expenses like funeral costs and the loss of income and companionship for surviving family members
Distracted Driving Statistics
The more technology becomes available inside cars, the more distractions drivers experience. The Insurance Information Institute has compiled distracted driving facts that show:
- Roughly 1 in 5 auto accidents in the U.S. are caused by a distracted driver, leading to property damage, injury, and death.
- Between 13-14% of fatal crashes are associated with cell phone usage each year.
- The age group 16-24 is consistently highest with use of handheld cell phones while driving (this age group includes the newest and most inexperienced drivers).
- Drivers are 23 times more likely to crash if they send a text while driving.
- Texting while driving is banned in most states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) in an effort to curb these numbers.
Distracted driving problems aren’t just an issue with teen or new drivers. One moment of distraction while operating a motor vehicle for any driver could mean life-long injuries or death. For those who were injured in car accidents caused by distracted driving, you may need an attorney to access resources beyond what car insurance companies offer.
How To Minimize Distractions While Driving
All motorists are susceptible to distractions while driving. To give yourself and your loved ones (especially teen drivers) the best environment to stay alert on the road, here are some important tips.
- Limit cell phone use: Even if you’re using a smartphone for navigation, utilizing hands-free devices or setting your phone on airplane mode can help reduce distractions.
- Clear your dashboard and window views: Having items on your dashboard can cause reflections in your windshield, and danglers on your rearview mirror or decals in any window can cause distraction.
- Limit passenger interaction: When transporting adults, insist on calm behavior and interactions. When driving with children, providing them with backseat activities can allow you to focus on safe driving.
- Avoid eating when driving: Finishing your breakfast during your morning commute or digging into a fast food bag before arriving home is tempting. However, the distraction and mess that food can cause while you should be aware of traffic could be gravely serious.
- Stop multitasking: What is a great skill in the office or the kitchen is dangerous on the road—multitasking while driving could include personal grooming, catching up on texts, sorting music or podcast entertainment, reviewing your to-do list, or any task other than driving.
Basically, do your best to minimize distractions, and keep your head in the game. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and it’s particularly true when it comes to defensive driving. The more alert you are, the more you can proactively respond to other drivers or dangerous elements on the road.
Contact a Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyer
The United States has over 4 million miles of highway. With so many people navigating so many miles every minute of every day, accidents are inevitable. However, distracted driving accidents are some of the most preventable ones, which is why it’s so important to protect yourself by staying alert, and to hold other drivers accountable when they cause harm.
Pierce Skrabanek operates out of Texas, the largest of the 48 contiguous states (second only to Alaska), and home of the greatest amount of highway miles. We have built a nationwide reputation for successful truck and automobile accident lawsuits, and with both English- and Spanish-language resources, we are ready to help you with yours.
Call Pierce Skrabanek today at (832) 690-7000 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation. Don’t settle for what insurance companies offer before you explore what a lawsuit settlement could do to help your recovery after a car accident injury.
Testimonials for Pierce Skrabanek
Hear what other clients have to say about the services at Pierce Skrabanek:
I just want to say that Paul Skrabanek and his firm are absolutely wonderful to work with. When a large insurance company refused to even offer a settlement after deciding not to pay on coverage I had been paying for years, we were set to go to trial. As a last ditch effort we met for mediation. After several hours of fierce negotiations which my husband and I were present for, we reached a satisfactory settlement. We watched, participated, and listened to Paul fight for a settlement which we could be happy with.
– Debra S.
My attorney, Michael Pierce, did an amazing job with my case. He’s a straight shooter and has a vast knowledge of the law combined with an extensive amount of experience, making him a fantastic attorney. I fully recommend this firm. Thank you Pierce Skrabenek!
– Victoria S.
These guys are awesome, they were very informative from the beginning to end, working with them was super smooth and I had all questions answered thoroughly. The whole team at this firm works to help in every way they can. They were able to get me the compensation I deserved and exceeded my expectations. If you’re ever in need of a stellar team to stand behind you and work for you these guys are the ones you would want in your corner.
– Raymond H.
Distracted Driving Accident FAQs
Distracted driving can come in the form of manual, visual, or cognitive distraction—essentially anything that takes a person’s hands, eyes, or attention from the task of driving is dangerous. By reducing distractions in your own car, you become a safer and more adaptive driver. By noting the signs of distracted driving after a crash, you can help make sure another driver’s negligence is held accountable for the damages done.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, distracted driving continues to be a significant threat on the road due to the increase in handheld technology. The numbers show:
- Roughly 1 in 5 auto accidents in the U.S. are caused by a distracted driver
- Between 13-14% of fatal crashes are associated with cell phone usage
- The most inexperienced drivers (ages 16-24) are consistently highest with the use of cell phones while driving
- Drivers are 23 times more likely to crash if they’re texting while driving
- Texting while driving is banned in most states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) in an effort to curb these dangerous numbers
Your first steps after a distracted driving accident should be to:
- Call for help from police or medics as needed
- Document the damage to yourself and your vehicle, as well as the state of the other driver’s car (inside and out)
- Record your observations in a police report or in time-stamped messages to yourself (this could be valuable evidence if there is a later dispute)
- Contact a car accident attorney for professional advice, or to act on your behalf if you need help or are hospitalized
Pierce Skrabanek has won or successfully settled many truck, motorcycle, car, and ambulance accident cases. One example is a $2 million settlement for a car accident injury victim, an amount that was over five times higher than the defendant’s pretrial settlement offer. We fight to make sure our clients are fully compensated for all of their needs. Call us today for representation at (832) 690-7000.