If you or a loved one have been injured in any of a variety of distracted driver accidents, is especially important to contact a distracted driver accidents attorney to thoroughly investigate. If there is evidence that a cell phone, mobile phone or any hand-held device was being used and contributed to the accident, our personal injury attorneys could possibly use this as proof of negligence on the part of the at-fault driver in a car accident. If it can be proven that the driver was doing anything that would be considered destructive to safe driving, the personal injury lawyers at Action Law Offices are attorneys who can get that job done. We have been handling these types of accident and injury cases for more than twenty years. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, then you can benefit from our experience. We'll see to it that you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Activities that Distract Drivers
- Using your phone while driving including texting, searching, social media, talking, emails, filming, watching video, etc.
- Applying makeup, fixing hair, adjusting clothing, or reaching for something.
- Eating, drinking, or reading a map, magazine or newspaper.
- Changing radio stations, adjusting navigation, or wearing headphones.
- Getting distracted by a pedestrian or something other than the road in front of you.
- Getting distracted by passengers in your vehicle.
Any activity other than the operation of a motor vehicle, that interferes with the person’s ability to drive the vehicle safely is considered a distraction. When a driver is distracted, they are putting themselves and their passengers at risk. In addition, they are putting everyone around them at risk including construction workers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.
Texting While Driving Accidents
Texting is by far the most common offender when it comes to distracting drivers. Due to the increased number of car accidents due to texting & driving, many states have passed laws designed to curb texting while driving. The process of texting involves at least three separate actions that take attention away from driving and off of the road for several seconds at a time:
- Cognitive Thinking: While texting, your mind can't focus on the most important task of driving. When you text, driving becomes second in rank of importance. The manipulation of electronic devices is impossible to do at the same time as driving unless it takes priority to driving. American Psychological Assoc. Feb. 1 2006 study suggests that drivers should be aware that whether a cell phone is hands-free or not makes no difference in terms of the mental distraction that is caused.
- Visual Focus: As you're looking at your phone, your eyes are taken off the road. According to a NHTSA, a drivers' eyes are off the road an average of five seconds when texting. At 55 mph, that’s the equivalent of traveling the length of a football field while blindfolded. Easily, you could lose control of your vehicle and cause a car accident, run over a pedestrian or a child, rear-end a cyclist or hit a tree. Taking your eyes off the road is not worth the risk.
- Manual Operation of Phone: In order to operate your phone, one or both of your hands must be taken off the wheel. It's like driving blindfolded for seconds at a time. Attempting to type a text or key in a phone number with one hand is going to require a driver to take their eyes off of the road even longer. This is dangerous whether the vehicle is in motion or at a stop.
Although the most distracted driver accident cases now refer to a driver who was talking on a phone or texting, there are other types of distractions such as eating, putting on makeup, playing with the radio, or watching pedestrians instead of the road. Universally, distracted driving is any activity that takes your focus off of the task of driving. If you chose distracted behaviors over driving, you are taking risks that could potentially involve causing harm to yourself or other innocent people.
Proving Liability for Accident Caused by Distracted Driver
Laws about distracted driving can change. At Action Law Offices, our attorneys are current on all of the Wisconsin laws that govern texting or talking on cell phones, mobile phones or other hand-held devices while driving, as well as other aspects of distracted driving. At the time of this writing, it is against the law in Wisconsin for any driver of any age or ability to be texting while driving. It is expected that all drivers either turn off their phones, or put them on "silent mode" to prevent an accident.
If it is felt that texting may have caused and accident, it may be possible for authorities, investigators or attorneys to obtain the cell phone records of the distracted driver. These documents can aid in the claim that the driver was texting or was talking on his cellphone when the accident occurred. Courtrooms are becoming more accustomed to the use of advanced technology during trials. In addition to phone records, GPS data, fitness trackers, and social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all fair game to prove who is at fault and liable for any type of distracted driving accident. Uncovering evidence for a distracted driving case will take a lawyer who knows how to identify, collect and interpret evidence that is found on these platforms. Action Law Offices has a team of experts to conduct thorough investigations which uncover the details of a distracted driving case. We work with investigators and accident reconstructionists to find the real cause of the accident and determine which party is at fault. We have experience dealing with insurance companies and presenting solid evidence. When clear evidence of guilt is effectively presented at trial, the jury will hold the distracted driver accountable.
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