driver looking at phone while at the wheel

Too many drivers take their eyes off the road to check their phones, adjust the stereo, use navigation systems, and tend to other distractions. Many don’t appreciate just how dangerous these activities can be.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), collisions caused by distracted drivers kill approximately 9 people and injure 1,000 more every day in the United States.

Distracted driving is a serious public safety concern as it can cause serious car and motorcycle crashes. The Florence car accident lawyers of Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are here to help you understand your rights if you’ve been hurt by a driver who was not paying attention. Reach out to us online or by phone for a free legal consultation.

What Is Considered Distracted Driving in Florence?

Almost anything can be considered a distraction if it causes drivers to divert their attention away from the task of driving.

There are three main categories that distracted driving falls into:

  • Visual distractions – Visual distractions like cell phone screens, accidents on the side of the road, and other sights can take a driver’s attention away from the road. In a matter of seconds, cars can travel hundreds of yards in the amount of time the driver was looking elsewhere.
  • Manual distraction – When a driver takes their hands off the wheel for any reason, their ability to control the vehicle is diminished. Even if the person’s eyes remain on the road, if they are not holding onto the steering wheel, they may be unable to keep the vehicle in its lane or take evasive maneuvers if required.
  • Cognitive distraction – Whenever a driver’s mind is not focused on the task of driving, they are putting themselves and others at risk of a crash. Talking on the phone, talking to a passenger, daydreaming, or thinking about work or family issues could take a driver’s focus off driving.

Any activity that falls within these categories could be considered distracted driving. Some activities, like texting while driving, are more dangerous than others because they incorporate all three categories of distraction.

Common Distracted Driving Accidents in Florence, Alabama

One of the biggest safety concerns is the use of smartphones while driving. Many of the features on today’s phones allow us to stay connected to family, friends, and work and allow us to multitask like never before. They also provide a sometimes addictive form of entertainment.

Smartphone use poses a significant hazard for drivers. Talking, texting, checking social media, using navigation apps, and a wide variety of other applications and features could lead to severe injury accidents. It is crucial for drivers to realize that the devices we’ve become so dependent on should be put away completely while driving.

Experts suggest that drivers who have hands-free settings or devices should use them only in emergencies. Even talking on the phone on a hands-free device could be distracting enough to cause an accident.

Other common causes of distracted driving accidents include:

  • Daydreaming – Especially when drivers become used to their commute, it can be easy to zone out, daydream, and pay less critical attention to traffic.
  • Eating and drinking – Eating food or drinking beverage forces the driver to split their attention between their meal and the road.
  • Adjusting vehicle controls – Though the controls for the radio, air conditioning, and other in-vehicle features are within drivers’ reach, they require drivers to take their attention away from road conditions
  • Grooming – Though morning routines and commutes can be rushed, applying makeup, shaving, or grooming yourself while driving is never a good idea.

While a small distraction can seem innocent enough, anything that causes drivers to shift their attention away from the road could cause a crash.

Florence Distracted Driving Accident Statistics

Although distraction-related collisions can be caused by anyone, findings reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that drivers age 20 and below are the most likely to text while driving. In one recent year, distracted driving was a factor in 10 percent of all fatal collisions involving teenagers

The problem of distracted driving is increasing. As of 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that at any given moment as many as 660,000 drivers are using their phone or another electronic device while driving.

How to Prove a Florence Driver Was Distracted

While the situation surrounding every accident is different, a few factors can be particularly useful in proving that the at-fault party was distracted at the time of the accident. Your lawyer may want to obtain the following information:

  • Cell phone records – Depending on the situation, your lawyer may be able to subpoena cell phone records to confirm that the driver was on their phone at the time of the collision.
  • Witness statements – If anyone saw the accident happen, they may have seen the responsible party on their phone or engaged in another distraction. Having their statement could provide crucial support to your account of events.
  • Traffic camera recordings – If the accident occurred near a traffic camera or monitor, the recording could be used to show that a driver was not paying attention at the time of the crash.
  • Police report – It’s important to have an official accident report to cross-reference the time of the accident with any witness statements, phone records, and other information that may indicate that the responsible party was using their phone before the crash.

Your attorney can use the evidence from an independent investigation of the crash to build a strong case on your behalf. If the other driver was distracted and caused the collision, you could be owed significant compensation for your injuries, lost wages, vehicle repairs or replacement, and other damages.

How Can a Florence Distracted Driving Attorney at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., Help Me?

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver in Florence, you need a skilled lawyer to assist you with your case. The team at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., has dedicated our practice to pursuing the maximum amount of compensation that our clients deserve. We know how an accident can change your life in a split second, and we’re here to help you rebuild and move on with your life.

Through our efforts in and out of the courtroom, we have won over $110,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Now is the time to take the first step and seek help. When you are ready to discuss your case, call us or contact us online for a free consultation.