Distracted driving can result in car, truck, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents. These accidents can extensively injure victims involved who were unfortunate enough to encounter a distracted driver. Negligent distracted drivers may be liable for the damages suffered by their victims.
Three forms of distraction
There is no end to the number of distractions facing us today, but driver distractions come in three main categories: visual, manual and cognitive.
Visual distractions remove the driver’s eyes from the roadway. Manual distractions remove the driver’s hands from the steering wheel. Cognitive distractions remove the drivers’ attention from driving. All can be dangerous and even sometimes fatal.
Technological and non-technological distractions
Safety advocates are increasingly worried about technological distractions such as texting or messaging while driving; checking social media while driving; emailing while driving; talking on the phone while driving even if it is hands-free; or watching videos while driving. Operating a navigation device or adjusting anything while driving can also be a distraction.
In addition, other types of distractions can include eating or drinking while driving; grooming while driving; or reading while driving. Finally, conversations with passengers, searching for something in the vehicle or tending to children or pets while driving can all be distractions.
Responding to distracted driving
Lawmakers have responded to the threat of technological distractions in a variety of ways. For instance, texting while driving is illegal in Michigan. Violators may face fines and other penalties.
Unfortunately, these disincentives haven’t been enough to stop many people from texting while driving, leading to many accidents that cause injury and death.
Personal injury lawsuits provide another way to discourage distracted driving. Drivers have a duty of care when they are behind the wheel. When they breach that duty, cause an accident and injure another person, they can be held liable for the injured person’s damages through a personal injury lawsuit. These legal actions can be crucial for helping the injured and their families cope with the economic and personal costs of an injury. They can also hold careless drivers accountable and encourage other drivers to be more cautious.