Personal injury attorneys see rise in accidents caused by distracted drivers | The auto accident lawyer
In 2012, approximately 420,000 people were injured and 3,300 killed as a result of distracted drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), that was about 10% higher than the year before.
Texting while driving is becoming the most common cause of distracted driving and these numbers will continue to rise. Although to date, 44 states have banned texting while driving, resulting accidents have not diminished. A Pew Research study shows that younger women are more likely to be involved in an accident because of texting while driving:
“In a study comparing boys texting behaviors to girls, Pew Research found, on average, girls typically send and receive 80 texts a day while boys send and receive 30.”
And these numbers are not on the decline.
A few states (Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas) have banned inexperienced drivers from texting. In January, 2017, a senate committee in Arizona proposed a 6-month ban on the use of communication electronic devices for teen licensees. As reported by The Arizona Republic: “The bill calls for a $75 fine and a 30-day extension of the six-month limit on a teen’s graduated driver’s license for the first offense.” There are no such restrictions in Montana.
It is estimated that 660,000 drivers use their cell phones and/or manipulate electronic devices at any given daylight moment while driving according to the NHTSA. Distracted drivers in many instances run red lights, cross center lines in the roadway and rear end vehicles in front of them. Young drivers do NOT understand the concept of time and distance. It only takes a few seconds – eyes off the road – and it is too late to avoid an accident.
Early education may reduce auto accidents, injuries and deaths
Teaching young and inexperienced drivers about the dangers of texting while driving will minimize accidents and prevent serious injuries as well as loss of lives. Placing the cell phone out of reach or turning off the cell phone while driving is recommended. In addition, passengers should be made aware of the dangers and try to prevent texting while driving by assisting the driver with any necessary cell phone use. If you are a passenger, remind the driver not to reach for the cell phone – it can wait until later.
Experienced personal injury attorneys and auto accident lawyer litigate distracted driver cases
It is apparent after some accidents that the cause of the crash was a driver distracted by a cell phone and possibly texting while driving. Officers may include this information in their police report as the official cause of the collision. But if it has not been determined at the scene of the accident, a good private investigator employed by your attorney may be able to uncover this information on your behalf. Further, your experienced personal injury lawyer might reveal this relevant fact during the discovery process when cell phone records may be obtained. In addition, witnesses to the accident may be of help in their eye-witness testimony.
If there is reason to believe the defendant driver was distracted by their cell phone and possibly texting, a lawyer experienced in personal injury cases will use every resource to investigate. Indiana has a law that bans texting while driving and the personal injury attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm will leverage the law on your behalf.
Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 if you or someone you know was injured or killed in a collision caused by a texting driver.
By Charlie WardWard & Ward Law Firm 728 S Meridian St Indianapolis, IN 46225 317-639-9501
Educating teenage drivers on the dangers of the roadway and getting hands on lessons in driver safety.
The Street Survival Foundation and Hoosier BMW came together to educate teenage drivers on the dangers associated with driving vehicles on the roadway and learn how to drive in the rain as well as what to do what a vehicle suddenly breaks.
Education is the key to accident prevention. Please take a moment to watch this powerful video and share with your friends and family.
Everything you can do now to educate your teenager will help them as they grow older.
One Text… One simple distraction has the power to cut a long, full life ….. Short. Everyday our lives are filled with distractions! It’s up to each of us to set boundaries, that keep both the roads and our futures safe. Too much life to live, to risk cutting it short from a preventable mistake. #stopthetextsstopthewrecks #wardlawfirm
Cell Phones are Responsible for 28% of Motor Vehicle Accidents
It is estimated that nearly 28% of all accidents involve drivers that are talking on their cell phones or texting while driving. According to the National Safety Council (NCS):
“1.4 million crashes each year involve drivers using cell phones and a minimum of 200,000 additional crashes each year involve drivers who are texting.”
NSC has called for a ban on cell phone use of any kind while driving. And although Indiana legislators have not heeded the call for restricting cell phones all together, Indiana’s ban on texting went into effect on July 1st, 2011. IC 9-21-8-59 addresses the use of telecommunications devices:
(a) A person may not use a telecommunications device to:
(1) type a text message or an electronic mail message;
(2) transmit a text message or an electronic mail message; or
(3) read a text message or an electronic mail message; while operating a moving motor vehicle unless the device is used in conjunction with hands free or voice operated technology, or unless the device is used to call 911 to report a bona fide emergency.
(b) A police officer may not confiscate a telecommunications device for the purpose of determining compliance with this section or confiscate a telecommunications device and retain it as evidence pending trial for a violation of this section.
The law is silent on making and receiving phone calls, surfing the web or checking GPS. This law is also problematic on the facility of enforcement since the burden of proof is upon the officer to prove that texting has occurred while driving. This law asserts the patrolling officer cannot legally check or seize the phone to be used as evidence in a trial.
How is it possible to cite a non-complying driver?
In the event of a tragic accident involving fatality, law enforcement is awarded the ability to pull phone records. In a case of wrongful death, proof of texting while driving increases the percentage of fault the texting driver and their insurance company must bear. See “What is Comparative Fault?” – a discussion about assigning a percentage of liability in Indiana tort claims. While one would think teens might be the largest offending group, the Pew Research Center has found that adults are equally as active both texting and talking while driving and probably carry on cell phone conversations behind the wheel more frequently than teenagers.
The conversation concerning texting and driving has raised the public’s awareness about the dangers and the consequences of distracted driving. How many of us have engaged in conversation while driving from one place to another and yet, when we arrive at our destination we don’t remember the events of the journey? Before you pick up your cell phone, dividing your attention between the wheel and the road, remind yourself that drivers using cell phones look, but fail to see, up to 50% of the information in their driving environment. Then think of your family and how much they love and depend upon you, and then consider that other drivers on the road have families too.
Be careful driving.
The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 80 years of combined experience in wrongful death claims, auto accident, motorcycle accident, trucking accident, and injuries associated with semi tractor-trailer accidents. Ward & Ward invite you to contact them to arrange a FREE initial consultation about your case, by phone at 317-639-9501, through their website at wardlawfirm.com, or simply by visiting their conveniently-located downtown Indianapolis office. If we decide your case has merit, you won’t be charged unless we recover damages on your behalf.