If you are like most Indiana drivers, then you probably see distracted driving on a daily basis. Other motorists may be texting and driving, searching for something in the floorboard or eating. These activities, which are otherwise safe, can be extremely dangerous when conducted behind the wheel. A driver who takes his or her eyes off the road for only a matter of seconds can travel, depending on one's speed, hundreds of yards without his or her attention on the road. This means that they may fail to break in time for slowed or stop traffic, yield at a stop sign or crosswalk, or they may veer into oncoming traffic.
As if this isn't concerning enough, studies have shown that distracted driving is becoming more prevalent. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the number of drivers using cell phones while driving increased half a percent from 2013 to 2014. With cell phone use becoming more prevalent, and apps becoming more helpful while driving, it is likely that even more individuals are manipulating electronic devices while driving. In fact, a 2015 survey found that one-third of drivers admitted to texting and driving, while three-fourths said they have seen others text and drive.
The tragic consequences of distracted driving can be far-reaching. Car accidents can leave victims with serious injuries, permanent disabilities or dead. Those who are fortunate enough to survive these wrecks are often left with significant physical and emotional pain and suffering, extensive medical expenses and lost wages due to an inability to work. These damages can leave a victim not knowing where to turn for help and fearful for his or her future.
Although there is little an individual can do to avoid a distracted driver, besides drive defensively, he or she may be able to pursue compensation from a negligent driver in the aftermath of an accident. These claims are often hotly contested, though, so those thinking about pursuing legal action should be sure that they can craft compelling legal arguments to help them impose liability and demonstrate their losses. Those who feel they need assistance with this may be able to acquire it from a legal professional.
Source: Distraction.gov, "Facts and Statistics," accessed on March 5, 2017