With the everyday, routine nature of driving, many drivers become less attentive and less careful. However, even a moment’s distraction can result in a serious accident.
Distracted driving has become more common than perhaps ever before, especially with the widespread use of cell phones and other electronic devices. That said, anything that takes your attention away from the task of driving is considered a driver distraction.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, the Karl Truman Law Office is here to help. Please call (502) 222-2222 today for a free consultation in or around Louisville, Kentucky. We also serve clients in and around Jeffersonville, Indiana; call (812) 282-8500.
What Is Distracted Driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “any activity that diverts attention from driving” is considered a possible cause of distracted driving. More than 2,800 drivers were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2018, according to the most recent NHTSA statistics.
Many different activities can contribute to distracted driving, including:
Texting, Talking, and Other Electronic Device Usage
Of all the possible distractions that can result in accidents, none is more dangerous than texting. Reading and composing text messages behind the wheel occupy the driver’s eyes, hands, and mind, severely compromising the ability to operate a vehicle safely.
However, using electronic devices in general increases the risk of an accident. This includes activities such as:
- Talking on the phone
- Reading emails
- Accessing apps and browsing the Internet
- Viewing a GPS device or map on a smartphone
Although cell phones and other electronic devices are frequently associated with distracted driving, there are many additional ways your attention can be dangerously divided.
Eating and Drinking
For many drivers, time in the car also functions as mealtime or snacktime. When eating or drinking, drivers are likely to take one or both hands off of the wheel. They might also take their eyes from the road. And, in the event of a spill, their attention will be diverted from the task at hand, potentially resulting in an accident.
You often see drivers try to save time on their morning commute by squeezing in activities that are best performed at home. From applying makeup to shaving to brushing their hair, many drivers put their personal safety (and the safety of others) second to their personal hygiene.
Distractions in the Car
Even if the driver has both hands on the wheel and appears to be looking at the road, potential distractions within the vehicle abound. These distractions include:
- Passengers, especially young children
- The radio, especially if it is played loud
- Temperature controls
- Objects in the glove compartment
- Items that fall onto the floor
Many of these distractions are short-lived or easy to overlook. However, the little time it takes you to pick up something you dropped or focus on a conversation with other occupants of the vehicle may be enough time to cause a collision.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
All forms of driver distraction compromise one, some, or all three of the essential types of focus required to drive a car safely:
- Visual: The ability to spot hazards, judge distance, and adapt to changes in road and traffic conditions
- Manual: The physical act of controlling the car; manual distractions take drivers’ hands away from the wheel, limiting their control of the vehicle
- Cognitive: The mental focus on the vehicle and one’s surroundings
Texting is considered the most dangerous form of distraction because it impacts the driver’s visual, manual, and cognitive attention. As a result, both Kentucky and Indiana have implemented a ban on texting for all drivers. Kentucky also forbids drivers under the age of 18 from using a cell phone in any capacity behind the wheel, while Indiana has instituted a similar ban for drivers who are under 21.
However, all forms of distraction endanger not only the distracted driver but other people as well. The drivers and occupants of other vehicles are vulnerable to accidents caused by inattentive drivers. Distracted driving is also a common factor in pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
Compensation for Distracted Driving Accidents
If you think your accident and resulting injury may have been caused by a distracted driver, then you may have a case to pursue compensation for your injury. You may be able to recover damages such as:
- Medical costs and expenses for ongoing treatment
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings and earning capacity, if the accident affects your ability to work
- Out-of-pocket expenses for costs associated with the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages, if the at-fault driver is determined to have acted especially recklessly or maliciously
With the thousands of fatalities caused each year by distracted driving accidents, you may experience the tragic loss of a family member in a collision with a distracted driver. In the event that your loved one is killed, our lawyers can pursue a wrongful death claim on your behalf.
You and your family may be entitled to compensation for damages including:
- Loss of your loved one’s income
- Loss of household and financial support
- Medical expenses incurred prior to death
- Expenses for funeral services and burial or cremation
- Loss of consortium, society, and/or parental guidance
The exact compensation to which you and your loved ones are entitled will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the damages you have sustained. At the Karl Truman Law Office, we make it our mission to pursue the full compensation and peace of mind that you and your family deserve.
Get Help After a Distracted Driving Accident
When you contact the Karl Truman Law Office, our team will listen to your story and discuss your legal options. You may be able to recover compensation through an insurance claim, or you may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
If you take action against the other driver, you and your attorney will need to prove that the driver’s negligence resulted in the accident. If you suspect distracted driving was a factor, our lawyers will thoroughly investigate and gather crucial evidence on your behalf. This may include:
- Investigating the scene of the accident to determine how the crash occurred
- Interviewing eyewitnesses who saw the accident
- Obtaining a copy of the police report and reviewing it for key details
- Subpoenaing the at-fault driver’s cell phone records
- Requesting data from the vehicle’s onboard computer
- Assessing the vehicles involved in the accident inside and out, including possible distractions within the car
Our team will also work with your doctors and other medical professionals to understand the severity and extent of your injuries. This information will enable us to calculate the damages you have suffered, then pursue fair compensation on your behalf.
Contact Our Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers Today
With distracted driving a growing problem in Kentucky, Indiana, and throughout the country, it is important to work with experienced attorneys who understand the devastating toll of these accidents. At the Karl Truman Law Office, we employ a personalized approach for every client and every case. In building the strategy for your claim, we account for all of the expenses and damages you are currently facing, as well as costs and difficulties you may encounter in the future.
Our lawyers have experience with distracted driving accident claims involving all types of motor vehicles.
For a free case evaluation, please contact the Karl Truman Law Office today. You can reach our office in Louisville, Kentucky, by calling (502) 222-2222, or you can reach us in Jeffersonville, Indiana, at (812) 282-8500.