Driving a car on the roads safely requires a great deal of awareness, awareness of road conditions, awareness of other drivers and pedestrians and their movements on the roads. One of the easiest ways to cause a motor vehicle accident is, therefore, inattention on the roadways. Distracted driving pulls a driver’s attention away from the road to other things that cause a delay in your response to a sudden change in road conditions, weather hazards, traffic patterns and pedestrians, and even a miniscule delay in your response to such conditions can result in a devastating accident.
Causes of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can result from a myriad of activities undertaken while driving. They can include checking mobile phone messages, changing the radio station or song track, applying makeup. Distracted driving often constitutes neglect in that the rules of the road in every state require attentiveness to road conditions, movements of other drivers, street signage and traffic lights as well as pedestrian activity. Distractions while driving pull one’s attention away from that important responsibility, and by definition constitute neglect of your duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians on the roads.
The distraction does not alway have to be a visual one, however. A mental distraction can be enough to slow your reaction time to road conditions to cause an accident as well. Say, for instance, you’re watching the roadways as you’re driving but also arguing with someone via speaker phone.
Your attentiveness to road conditions can be dulled if you’re mentally distracted with navigation of a terse argument and the logic (or lack thereof) in debating an issue. Frustration suffered during an argumentative exchange can be enough to take your mental eye off the roads long enough to cause an accident. Likewise, if someone is suffering a great deal of emotional stress while driving, their concentration can be greatly compromised while navigating potentially dangerous road conditions (eg, high speeds, weather hazards, sudden changes in traffic), such that they are unable to navigate those conditions safely.
Documenting Evidence of Distracted Driving
When you’ve been injured as a result of a serious accident, it’s always important to document as much of the facts of the personal injury claim you’ll make at your earliest convenience. Of course, seeking medical attention in the aftermath of a serious accident is of the utmost importance, but getting the facts documented as soon as possible can ensure an easier road to victory when pursuing compensation for your injuries. When distracted driving is the cause of the accident, it often comes to light as a result of witness testimony. Sometimes the victim of an accident witnesses the at-fault driver’s inattentiveness, of course. However, many times witnesses to the accident scene are your best evidence of the distraction.
Third-party witnesses, particularly other drivers and pedestrians, are often total and complete strangers to both the victim and the at-fault driver, and are therefore non-biased. When one or even two corroborate the details of the distracted driving that caused the accident, that mounts a convincing case for personal injury liability on the part of the at-fault driver.
Getting contact details for those witnesses at the scene can be extremely supportive for building a successful personal injury claim.
Another source of documentation for distracted driving that’s begun to gain steam in recent years is vehicle dash cams. Vehicle dash cams are video cameras that are typically mounted to the dashboard of a vehicle or even the backs of rear-view mirrors. These record the driver’s view, and often capture activity in the vehicles the car is facing, at least the activity of the drivers of those vehicles. If an oncoming driver was looking down at their phone or perhaps trying to change the radio station when the accident actually took place, the dashcam is able to capture video showing that the driver’s eyes were clearly off the road.
Finally, more and more, municipals install traffic cameras to capture traffic activity on the roads. These have been used in some instances to document conditions before and during an accident. This may, perhaps, be a source of documentation of distracted driving in some instances depending upon the position of the cameras at the time of the accident should such cameras be installed at the scene.
Benefits of Having an Experience Personal Injury Attorney on Your Side
Gathering such evidence and documentation in the aftermath of an accident when you’re trying to recuperate from injury and manage resulting challenges to your employment status can be grueling. Consulting an experienced personal injury attorney is often the best way to navigate the difficulties of recovering damages from an automotive accident. An attorney is able to harness the resources necessary to capture surveillance video evidence of an accident scene. Also, an experienced negotiator who understands the true scope of potential damages in your case is capable of fighting to secure the highest compensation you’re eligible to receive given your claim.
If you are looking for an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney who will be responsive and accessible from start to finish, filing your claim and maintaining open communication along the way, call the attorneys of Bizzieri Law Offices at 773.881.9000. We never charge a fee for the case review and never receive payment unless we recover damages for you.