According to federal agencies and experts, distracted driving is one of fastest growing causes of dangerous and deadly car accidents in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that the number of drivers who are visibly handling mobile devices behind the wheel rose from 1.7% to 2.2% between 2013 and 2014—and that number has likely grown despite tougher driving laws and safety campaigns. Below, we take a closer look at this trend and what role it can play in a car accident claim.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving occurs anytime a motorist attempts to multitask while driving and takes their eyes off the road. For a long time, distracted driving was limited to relatively few different scenarios: adjusting the radio, tending to children in the car, grooming, etc.
However, with the popularity of mobile devices, distracted driving has become much more prominent. Now, it is common to see drivers looking down at their smartphone while behind the wheel, either texting with others, accessing information from the web or an app, or even playing mobile games. This habit is extremely dangerous and, if someone is hurt, the distracted driver can be found negligent in a resulting injury suit.
Can I Prove I Was Hurt By A Distracted Driver?
If you believe that you were hurt by a distracted driver, there may be several ways to prove that the driver who harmed you was being negligent:
- Witnesses: if other people saw that the driver that hurt you was on their phone while behind the wheel, their testimony can help substantiate negligence in your injury claim.
- Phone records: in some cases, phone records can be used to show that a driver was talking on the phone or sending texts at the time of the accident. This can sometimes be obtained by examining the driver's phone bill.
- Video footage: if your accident was caught on video (such as a bystander's phone, a traffic or surveillance camera, a bicyclist's GoPro), this footage may capture the defendant being distracted while driving.
- Admission: Sometimes, a driver will just admit that they were distracted when an accident occurred. This admission is critical to negotiations with insurance providers.
If you've been hurt in a car accident and believe that distracted driving played a role, we invite you to contact us at the Law Office of James M. Stanley today. Our team of proven Fort Worth car accident attorneys has recovered more than $100 million in relief for individuals and families who have been affected by negligence.
Ready to start exploring your options? Call our firm at (817) 591-4222 today. Se habla español.