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Can a Driver Be Held Liable for Injuries Caused by Distracted Driving?

Posted on in Car Accidents

NY injury lawyerPeople face multiple types of risks in their daily lives. Since most people spend a significant amount of time driving or riding in motor vehicles, they are aware of the ever-present danger of car accidents. Unfortunately, even if a person takes great care to follow traffic laws and drive as safely as possible, they may still be involved in accidents caused by others who fail to use the proper level of care. Distracted driving is one of the most common forms of driver negligence that can lead to dangerous collisions and serious injuries that affect drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

Forms of Distracted Driving That Can Lead to Car Accidents

For those who drive every day, it can be easy to forget that they are in control of a deadly weapon. Passenger vehicles weigh thousands of pounds, and an impact from a car or truck will involve significant force, even at low speeds. The risks of injury are even greater when a vehicle is traveling at higher speeds. Because of this, drivers need to be sure they are acting as safely as possible since what may seem like a small mistake can have deadly results.

Unfortunately, many drivers fail to fully pay attention to the act of driving, especially when they are traveling on familiar roads. A distraction that causes a person to look away from the road or take one or both hands off the steering wheel may make it difficult or impossible to avoid an accident. A person may fail to notice that a car has slowed down in front of them or that a pedestrian has entered a crosswalk. If a driver is not fully in control of their vehicle, or if their attention is elsewhere, they may not be able to react in time to slow down or swerve out of the way.

Distracted driving can take many forms, including:

  • Cell phone use - Texting while driving is known to be dangerous since it will cause a person to look at the screen of a phone instead of the road and take their hands off the wheel in order to type or scroll through messages. Making calls while holding a phone can cause similar distractions. However, even hands-free calls can distract a driver, since they will be dividing their attention between the road and their conversation.
  • Eating, drinking, and grooming - While drive-through restaurants are common, attempting to eat meals or snacks or drink beverages will require a driver to use their hands for purposes other than driving and take their attention away from the road. Looking into a mirror to adjust hair or makeup can also be a dangerous distraction.
  • Adjusting controls - Drivers may pay attention to multiple systems, including their radio, environmental controls, the position of their seat, or a GPS navigation system. While maintaining comfort and ensuring that they can get to their destination is important, drivers who pay more attention to these adjustments than the road may be unable to avoid collisions.
  • Passengers - Conversations with other people in a vehicle can be a dangerous distraction for drivers. Parents who transport children may find it difficult to fully pay attention to the road, especially if they need to turn around or reach into the back seat to address children’s needs.

Contact Our Metro New York Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers

Drivers should always make sure they are avoiding issues that may affect their ability to operate a vehicle safely. When drivers act negligently and cause car accidents, they may be held responsible for the injuries suffered by other parties. At Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC, we can help you demonstrate that a collision was caused by a distracted driver, and we will work to ensure that you will be fully compensated for your damages. Contact our Greenwich car accident attorneys at 203-661-6000 to schedule your free consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/distracted-driving/the-risks-of-distracted-driving/

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/distracted_driving/index.html

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