Mobile technology has become a must-have among all sorts of people–from teenagers to professionals to senior citizens. Today’s devices can connect you with friends and family via texting, phone or social media. These devices are very helpful and a lot of fun–but they must be used properly to make certain they don’t pose a danger to anyone.
There is one instance where they should NEVER be used–that’s when you are actively driving a vehicle. After all, these handy devices pose a huge distraction. In fact, a report from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that, on average, nine people are killed in the U.S. every day as a result of distracted driving–and hundreds of others are injured.
Because distracted driving is such a big issue in the U.S. today, becoming educated about the matter and how to handle it if you’re a victim is vital. We’ve put together some information that may be of assistance to you.
Types of Distraction
Distracted driving is not just caused by texting while driving. In fact, it can include any activity that prevents the driver from paying close attention to the road.
There are three different types of distraction: visual, cognitive and manual. A visual distraction causes the driver to look elsewhere; a cognitive distraction takes the driver’s mind off of the road; and a manual distraction means his or her hands are not on the steering wheel.
Some activities that cause distraction include:
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to others in the car
- Fixing hair or using makeup
- Reading a map or plugging an address into a GPS system
- Changing the radio station or putting in a CD
- Using a cell phone for any purpose
- And, of course, texting
Any of these activities can divert attention from safe driving. In short, a driver should avoid any activity that keeps him or her from paying attention to the road and flow of traffic.
Why Texting and Driving is So Dangerous
The reason that texting and driving gets so much attention as a type of distracted driving is that it encompasses all three types of distraction. The driver’s eyes are on the phone, not the road. His or her hands are on the phone, not the wheel; and the driver is thinking about the message and how to respond. As such, texting and driving is seriously dangerous and should not be indulged in by anyone–no matter what assistive devices are used or how experienced the driver may be.
Laws on Distracted Driving
Every state has its own unique rules about what drivers can and cannot do while driving. Connecticut is no exception. Drivers cannot operate a handheld cell phone at all. Speaker phones are acceptable. However, texting and driving is NEVER acceptable and is a ticketable offense.
Liability in Distracted Driving Cases
With distracted driving becoming more and more of a problem, it is important to understand that there are liability issues at stake if an accident occurs because of a distracted driver. Even if he or she isn’t doing anything illegal, the sheer act of driving while distracted is a type of negligence.
Because of this, if you or someone else was injured because of a distracted driver, it may be possible to seek compensation. Not only may the distracted driver be liable for damages to the vehicle, he or she may have to pay for medical bills, lost wages and even pain and suffering. Settlements stemming from distracted driving can sometimes skyrocket into the thousands or even millions of dollars.
Have You Been Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident?
If you were involved in an accident where someone who was distracted is at fault, you may have a personal injury claim. Get medical attention first, of course. However, before you talk to an insurance company or do anything else, contact a knowledgeable lawyer right away. Working with an expert can help assure that you get everything you deserve from the liable party. A distracted driving accident should not keep you from working, doing the things you love or cause ongoing pain–if this is the situation, you deserve reimbursement.
Reach out to us at the Law Office of Ronald M. Scherban P.C. today. We have over 40 years of experience dealing with cases just like yours, and you’ll never pay unless we win. We would love to hear more about your case and fight for your rights–our goal is always your 100% satisfaction.