Distracted Driving

July 4, 2024 | Garrett Dennis
Distracted Driving
Young businessman texting on mobile phone while driving, viewed from behind.

Your life can change instantly simply because someone could not resist checking their phone just for a moment.

Distracted driving has become a major concern on roads nationwide, with costly consequences for many people. With the increasing use of mobile devices and in-car technology, drivers are more prone to distractions than ever before.

If you or someone you know has been in an accident due to distracted driving, you should understand your rights and seek legal guidance. Contact a car accident attorney near you to ensure you receive the appropriate compensation and justice for your injuries.

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What Comprises Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving can involve any activity that diverts someone’s attention from driving. It can be classified into three main types:

  • Visual distractions: These distractions occur when a driver takes their eyes off the road. Examples include looking at a phone, reading a map, or even admiring the scenery.
  • Manual distractions: These distractions involve the driver physically taking their hands off the steering wheel. Activities like eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, or scrolling through a playlist fall into this category.
  • Cognitive distractions: These distractions occur when a driver's mind wanders away from the task of driving. Daydreaming, getting lost in thoughts, or even talking to passengers can divert a driver's attention.

Common Causes of Distracted Driving

Close-up of a man's hand texting on a mobile phone while driving a car.

Here are some common causes of distracted driving:

  • Mobile phones and texting: One of the leading causes of distraction is using mobile phones while driving. Texting, checking social media, or even talking on the phone without a hands-free device can divert a driver's attention from the road.
  • In-car technologies and infotainment systems: Many modern vehicles are equipped with advanced technologies that can be highly distracting. Features like touch screens, voice commands, and complex infotainment systems can take a driver's focus away from the road.
  • Eating and drinking: Having a meal or grabbing a quick snack while driving may seem harmless, but it requires a driver to take their hands off the steering wheel and their eyes off the road.
  • Interacting with passengers: Conversing with passengers, especially when driving with lively groups or children, can be a significant distraction.
  • Daydreaming or Mind Wandering: Drivers who mentally drift away from driving due to fatigue, stress, or lack of focus are more prone to missing critical visual and auditory cues.
  • External Factors: External distractions, such as looking at events or incidents outside the vehicle or being distracted by billboards or roadside attractions, can also contribute to accidents.

How Distracted Drivers Cause Crashes

Distracted driving can impair a driver's ability to react quickly and make sound judgments. Some common scenarios leading to crashes include:

  • Distracted drivers may fail to notice when the vehicle in front of them has slowed down or stopped, resulting in rear-end collisions.
  • Taking their eyes off the road or drifting into other lanes can lead distracted drivers to collide with other vehicles or even crash into objects on the side of the road.
  • Failing to pay attention while approaching an intersection can lead to accidents when a distracted driver fails to yield or misjudges the timing of a turn.
  • Distracted drivers may fail to stay in their lanes, causing them to veer into adjacent lanes and collide with other vehicles.
  • Lack of attention can lead to erratic speed changes and unpredictable behavior on the road, creating a dangerous environment for other drivers.
  • Distracted drivers may miss traffic signs or fail to follow traffic rules properly, leading to accidents when they fail to yield or stop when required.

Types of Crashes Caused by Distracted Driving

City street accident leaves cars damaged after collision.

Distracted driving can result in various types of crashes, including:

  • Rear-end collisions: When a distracted driver fails to notice a slowing or stopped vehicle in front of them, a rear-end collision can occur.
  • Side-impact (T-bone) collisions: Failing to stop at a stop sign or red light due to distraction can result in the driver colliding with the side of another vehicle, often leading to severe injuries or fatalities.
  • Head-on collisions: Distraction can cause a driver to drift into the opposite lane, leading to head-on collisions, which often have catastrophic consequences.
  • Single-vehicle crashes: Distracted drivers may lose control of their vehicles while attempting to multitask, causing them to crash into roadside objects, such as guardrails or trees.
  • Multi-vehicle pileups: Distractions in high-traffic areas or during adverse weather conditions can lead to multi-vehicle pileups, with numerous cars colliding due to the driver's lack of attention.

Proving Liability in Distracted Driving Accidents

Proving distraction as the cause of an accident can be challenging, but it is necessary to establish liability. Fortunately, a car accident lawyer can investigate, gather evidence, and handle this for you.

Here are some key steps in proving liability:

  • Gathering Evidence: Your attorney can collect any available evidence, such as witness statements, police reports, and photos or videos. This documentation can help reconstruct the sequence of events and identify the distracted driver.
  • Cell Phone Records: If cell phone use is suspected as a cause, obtaining records to show calls, texts, or app usage around the time of the accident can be pivotal. This often requires legal subpoenas to mobile carriers.
  • Expert Testimony: Accident reconstruction experts can analyze the evidence and provide expert testimony to demonstrate how the distraction contributed to the crash. They can recreate scenarios to illustrate how the distracted driver's actions led to the collision.
  • Driver Statements and Admission: The distracted driver's statements, either to police at the scene or later during legal proceedings, can be used to establish liability.

Successfully proving liability in distracted driving accidents often relies on a comprehensive approach that combines thorough investigation, expert analysis, and legal strategy. A car accident attorney can build your case to seek the full compensation you deserve.

Consult a Car Accident Attorney About Your Injuries Now

Distracted driving is a serious and growing problem that endangers everyone on the road. Even seemingly innocent actions can lead to devastating consequences on the road. If you've been in an accident caused by distracted driving, seeking legal representation is not just advisable—it's essential.

A skilled car accident lawyer can prove liability, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights. They bring invaluable experience and knowledge to the table, advocating fiercely on your behalf to secure fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Don't face this challenge alone. Consult a trusted personal injury lawyer today to take the first step toward justice and recovery.

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Garrett Dennis Author Image

Garrett Dennis


For nearly a decade I have been representing the people of North Alabama who have been victims to accidents. I have seen firsthand the impact a wreck can have on a victim and their families.

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