It only takes one second. A glance down to change the radio station. A quick peek at your cell phone to send a text message. Turning around for just a moment to see what the kids are doing in the back seat. Whatever the reason, it’s a distraction, and distracted drivers cause serious, and even fatal, crashes every single day.
The Consequences of Distracted Driving
The harsh reality is that distracted driving accidents will claim the lives of several people in the United States every day. According to the CDC, approximately eight Americans are killed each day as a result of distracted driving.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving consists of anything that takes attention away from driving. This can include fiddling with a cell phone, navigation system, or eating and drinking. Any of these activities can potentially endanger the lives of anyone on the road. There are three common forms of distracted driving, which include:
- Visual: where a driver takes their eyes off of the road to perform another task
- Manual: where a driver will take their hands off of the steering wheel
- Cognitive: where the driver is going through the motions and is not mentally mindful of the task at hand
Distracted driving accidents make up a large percentage of all car accidents each year. In the most recent collected data by the CDC (2018), over 2,800 people were killed and another 400,000 were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. Distracted drivers do not only impact passengers in vehicles; one in five victims of distracted driving accidents were shown to be pedestrians, cyclists, and others not inside a moving vehicle.
What to Do if a Distracted Driver Hits You
Distracted driving can impact anyone, so it’s important to know what to do if someone who has taken their eyes off the road hits you.
Call the Police and Request Medical Attention
If a distracted driver hits you, you’ll need to call the police and request an ambulance (if you are physically able). This is critical even if no one feels as if they’ve been seriously injured. Often, accident victims do not feel the repercussions of the accident right away.
It is also important that you report your basis for believing the other driver was distracted to the police when they arrive. Depending on why the other driver was distracted, police may be able to gather the evidence needed to substantiate your claim.
Again, if you are physically able, gathering the at-fault party’s contact and insurance information will be essential. It will be equally important to take notes or pictures of any evidence of distracted driving. Was the driver swerving just before the collision, or are there skid marks present on the road? Any evidence will support your claim.
Focus on Your Health
After the information-gathering period has concluded, it’s important to focus on your recovery. Enlisting the help of a distracted driving attorney can take the claims process off of your plate and allow you to take care of your injuries.
Why Involve an Attorney
Many states have passed laws prohibiting distracted driving behaviors, such as texting on a cell phone while driving. Since laws and regulations vary – and Texas is no different – it’s beneficial to have an attorney who knows local laws to assist you with your case. Since the aftermath of a distracted driving accident can be chaotic and stressful, a local Austin car accident attorney can help mitigate that stress by managing your claim. Not only will they have the expertise in Texas state law, but they will also know how to best go about seeking a fair claim for the losses incurred. Our team of Austin accident lawyers at Sandoval & James is well equipped to get you the compensation you deserve after a distracted driving accident.