Distracted driving is deadly and dangerous. In 2008, approximately 6,000 people died and 500,000 people were hurt in distracted driving accidents according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Board (NHTSA).
Anything that diverts a driver’s attention from safe driving is considered a distraction. However, most distracted driving accidents occur for the reasons described below.
Jon Ostroff is committed to helping personal injury victims recover damages in distracted driving accidents. Over the past 20 years, he has helped more than 20,000 Pennsylvania accident victims. He fights hard so that every distracted driving victim recover fair damages for their injuries.
Common Distracted Driving Accidents
Many distracted driving accidents are caused by a driver:
- Talking on a Cell Phone: cell phones use is one of the most common, and dangerous, types of distracted driving. Even states who have mandated hands free cell phone use are reporting serious and fatal accidents due to a driver’s cell phone use.
- Texting While Driving: texting while driving is a particularly dangerous form of cell phone use because a driver’s hands, eyes and attention are diverted from the road for significant amounts of time.
- Eating: whether you are snacking or eating a meal in the car, you are paying less attention to the road than you would otherwise be doing. It is not worth risking an accident over a bite of a sandwich.
- Drinking Coffee, Soda: Drinking coffee, water or a soft drink while driving may seem harmless and many times it doesn’t result in a crash – but it is worth the risk that a crash will take place for a sip of your drink? In the few seconds that you are enjoying your beverage an accident can happen. Worse yet, you could spill an extremely hot or cold drink on yourself and be startled into maneuvering your vehicle in an unintended way that causes a crash.
- Driving with Children / Pets: driving with children and pets in the car is necessary but also distracting. It is hard to attend to the needs of children and pets and focus on the road.
- Driving with Friends in the Car: some states have laws that prevent teenagers from driving with other teenagers in the car because friends can be distracting and unsafe.
- Using the GPS: a GPS may prevent people from reading a map or written directions while driving but a GPS can still be dangerous. A GPS should always be programmed before a driver begins driving and drivers should carefully obey street signs and signals despite GPS directions. For example, drivers may not see or may disregard one way street signs or construction signs because the GPS told them to make a turn.
- Reading: reading diverts a driver’s attention and eyes from the road. Whether it is a quick glance at a map or notes for an upcoming meeting, it is dangerous and should be avoided.
- Talking: have you ever become really engrossed in a conversation? What if that happened while you were driving? You would be unlikely to maintain your focus on the road.
- Changing Radio Stations or Temperature Controls: few of us give much thought to changing the radio station or heat / air conditioner settings in our car while we are driving. However, when you stop and think about it, you are diverting your hand, attention and perhaps even your vision from the road. It only takes a second for an accident to happen – much less time than it takes to change the station or temperature.
- Putting on Makeup: there is no doubt that mornings can be rushed but putting make up on in the car is dangerous. It requires you to take your eyes of the road and your hands off of the steering wheel.
- Picking something up from the floor or between the seats: we’ve all dropped our sunglasses, cell phone or CD while we’re driving. Our first instinct may be to reach done and try to pick up what we dropped but that can be very dangerous. Anything that drops should be left until it is safe to pull over and put the car into park.
- Being Very Drowsy: according the NHTSA, more than 100,000 crashes occur each year because of tired drivers. Tired drivers have slower response times and cannot react quickly enough to driving conditions.
- Arguing: arguing is, almost by definition, distracting. You get very involved in an emotional conversation and your focus is on making your point – not on driving your care safely.
Call Ostroff Injury Law if You’ve Been Injured in an Accident
A distracted driver and the driver’s insurance company are going to argue that the driver was not distracted even if there is strong evidence of distraction. The insurance company will have an experienced legal team arguing against your financial recovery.
You need an experienced lawyer representing you and fighting hard for your recovery. Jon Ostroff has helped more than 20,000 Pennsylvania accident victims in his 20 years of personal injury practice. Few attorneys in the United States can claim that type of experience. Jon knows how to prove that the other driver was distracted and get you damages. Call him today!