When behind the wheel, a driver’s primary responsibility should be focusing on the task at hand. This means that each person should set his or her phone aside while driving, keep both hands on the wheel and follow the rules of the road. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Many drivers believe they can safely multitask, and as a result, they may engage in risky behaviors, such as texting, talking on the phone, checking email or even scrolling social media.
Distracted driving is now one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. It is a serious safety concern, and it is completely preventable. Even a few seconds of distraction can have devastating consequences, and innocent people often suffer as a result of a decision to read just one text, send just one email or even look at a roadside billboard. Victims of distracted driving accidents do not have to suffer alone.
Different types of distracted driving
There are different types of distracted driving that can take the attention of a driver. While texting and phone use is often associated with distracted driving, there are many different actions that can increase the chance of an accident. The different types of car accidents include:
- Cognitive distraction — This includes anything that takes a driver’s mind off the task at hand, such as listening to the radio, talking to a passenger or taking a phone call using a hands-free system.
- Manual distraction — This includes anything that requires a driver to remove one or more hands from the steering wheel. This might include adjusting the radio, typing a text, drinking or eating, or putting on make-up.
- Visual distraction — Visual distraction includes anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road. This might happen when reading a text, reaching for a dropped item or even scanning the side of the road.
Texting and phone use is particularly dangerous as it can involve all three types of distraction at the same time. Each driver is responsible for the choices he or she makes behind the wheel, particularly the ones that result in harm to innocent people.
Your rights as an accident victim
If you are the victim of an accident caused by distracted driving, there are legal options available to you. You may have grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim, an option that may allow you to recoup your losses and hold responsible parties accountable for your pain and suffering. After an accident, you will benefit from seeking guidance regarding your legal options.