Distracted driving has become a serious problem in the United States. During 2016, 3,450people lost their lives in distracted driving accidents. Distracted drivers also injure hundreds of thousands of people each year. Because distracted driving is under-reported, the numbers of lives devastated by distracted drivers could be much higher.
Why Do People Drive While Distracted?
The number of distractions that drivers allow to interfere with their driving seems almost endless. Any activity, even talking to a passenger, that distracts a driver from the primary task of operating a vehicle is a potentially deadly distraction.
Many drivers do not think that common distractions can result in an accident. They believe they can operate the vehicle safely while multi-tasking. Sadly, many of those drivers are mistaken, and their incorrect assumption about their abilities to multi-task behind the wheel of a vehicle can be deadly.
Common distractions that can be factors in the cause of a car crash include:
- Texting while driving
- Talking on a cell phone
- Emailing while driving
- Using social media websites
- Accessing the internet
- Programming a GPS or other vehicle controls
- Searching for fallen items
- Eating and drinking
- Grooming and putting on makeup
- Reading and writing
- Making videos or taking pictures
- Taking care of a child or interacting with passengers
- Taking care of a pet
The possibilities for distractions while driving are endless.
Who Pays When a Distracted Driver Causes an Accident?
You do not need to prove that the driver was distracted at the time of a crash to recover compensation from a distracted driver. Distracted driving is not against the law, although most states have passed laws regarding cell phone use while driving.
Under Indiana’s personal injury laws, you must prove that a driver caused a crash to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. In most cases, proving the driver was at fault involves proving the driver broke a traffic law that led to the crash. For example, the driver failed to yield the right of way at a traffic light or the driver was following too closely and rear-ended your vehicle. In both cases, the driver may have been distracted, and that distraction led to the crash, but the driver committed a traffic infraction that led to the crash.
However, a distracted driver does not need to be charged with a traffic offense to be held liable for a car crash. The police officer may choose not to charge the driver with a traffic violation or state that the driver contributed to the cause of the crash. Our Indianapolis car accident attorneys conduct an independent investigation into the cause of the crash. If the evidence proves the other driver was at fault, you deserve to be compensated for your damages.
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