Distracted driving was linked to 3,477 fatalities in 2015, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Additionally, 391,000 people were injured because of distracted driving that year. With these figures in mind, it is clear that local authorities and safety agencies have a reason to push for more attentive driving and texting while driving laws.
If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, you may be facing serious injuries and an inability to work. The experienced Wisconsin distracted driving lawyers of Studinski Law, LLC, are ready to help you recover through an insurance claim or personal injury suit. Auto accidents are one of our main practice areas, and we have years of experience reaching advantageous settlement agreements and litigating distracted driving cases in court. Call us today at (715) 343-2850.
What is Distracted Driving?
Before you can fully determine whether distracted driving was the cause of or a significant factor in the accident that led to your injuries, you must understand what distracted driving is. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three types of driving distractions:
- Visual Distractions
A driver can be visually distracted by anything that causes them to take their eyes off the road. Even if another activity has the driver flicking their eyes away for a mere second at a time, it is still a distraction and increases the risk of an accident.
- Manual Distractions
A driver can be manually distracted by activities that require them to take one or both hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive Distractions
A driver can be cognitively distracted when their mind is not focused on driving. This means a driver can be distracted while their eyes are on the road and their hands remain on the wheel.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can be caused by any number of things. However, some of the most common culprits are:
- Interacting with other passengers
- Using a cellphone
- Looking for something in the vehicle
- Reaching for an object in the car
- Adjusting the music, temperature, mirrors, or other controls
- Looking at something outside of the vehicle
- Singing or dancing along to music
- Grooming and hygiene
- Eating and drinking
- Daydreaming or being lost in thought
Cell Phones Are a Major Factor in Distracted Driving
While mobile phones are immensely helpful and convenient in our day-to-day lives, they are also a major factor in distracted driving accidents. The NHTSA reported approximately 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while driving during the day. People do not know when to put their phones down, or even when they do, they take the risk thinking an accident will never happen to them. Unfortunately, picking up a phone while driving to text, read emails, play games, or listen to music greatly increases the risk of a crash.
Additionally, using hands-free features is not much better. People may be able to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road by using voice controlled applications and speaker phone, but these can be cognitively distracting. A driver who is focused on talking to someone else, receiving a message, or listening to music does not have their mind on the important task at hand – driving safely.
If you were injured in an accident and believe distracted driving was a factor, speak with a Wisconsin distracted driving attorney about determining whether the driver was on their cell phone immediately before the crash.
Pursuing Compensation After a Distracted Driving Accident
Everyone has a duty to be careful while operating a vehicle. Distracted driving laws prohibit anyone driving in Wisconsin to drive while focusing on something else. Drivers are supposed to obey all traffic laws and not do anything to increase the risk of an accident. They are responsible for remaining attentive while driving, and it is up to them to focus on the road, avoid multitasking, and not get distracted. If a person does become distracted and cause an accident, this may be negligence. Distracted driving safety is important and if someone causes an accident while distracted, they may face civil and criminal repercussions.
If you were injured in a crash and the other driver was distracted, then you have the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to seek compensation for:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of society and companionship
After being hurt in an accident, it is up to you and your distracted driving lawyer to prove that the other driver was focused on distractions while driving. If you seek compensation through a third-party insurance claim, you must ultimately provide evidence of this negligence to the insurer. If you move forward with a personal injury lawsuit, you will produce the evidence in court for the judge or jury to review.
Because of this legal duty, you and your attorney will attempt to gather evidence of the driver’s distraction right before the crash, including:
- The driver’s testimony
- Any passenger’s testimony
- Video footage
- Phone records
Contact A Wisconsin Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer Today
You do not have to take on all of the burdens of a distracted driving crash yourself. At Studinski Law, LLC, our car crash lawyers are ready to fight for you. We have years of experience in investigating auto accidents, gathering evidence on our client’s behalf, dealing with insurance companies, and when necessary, litigating personal injury claims.
Call us today at (715) 343-2850 to schedule time to discuss your situation, rights, and legal options.