What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving includes any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from driving. These include texting or talking on a cell phone; chatting with others in the vehicle; eating and consuming beverages; and adjusting technology in the vehicle such as the stereo, car phone, and navigation systems. Doing any of these while driving in New Hampshire will likely cause the driver to become distracted, taking his or eyes, mind, or hands off the wheel, which may lead to serious accidents and injuries.
Distracted driving causes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 3,100 deaths each year, based on 2017 data, the last year for which figures are available. Texting is understood to be the most dangerous of distractions because the act of sending a text or reading a text will take the driver’s attention away from operating a motor vehicle for approximately five seconds. The NHTSA notes that just five seconds of distraction while traveling 55 miles per hour is similar to driving the length of a football field without watching the road.
Driving safely cannot be accomplished without a driver’s full attention, according to the agency, which adds that driving requires 100% attention 100% of the time. Anything that takes attention away from driving for even a moment could lead to a possible distraction, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) point out that, each day, more than nine people are killed and over 1,000 people are injured in the U.S. in distracted driving accidents. According to the CDC, distracted driving involves visual (for example looking away from the road), manual (not having both hands on the steering wheel), and cognitive (daydreaming while driving) elements.
What if I am the Victim of a Distracted Driver?
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you are likely eligible to pursue a personal injury claim for damages. An experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorney will help you determine whether an insurance claim will be sufficient to cover your expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. This prevents you from being tempted to accept any settlement offers that are too low to cover your complete costs. If necessary, your lawyer can help you pursue compensation from the at-fault driver in court. While the process can be stressful, your attorney will help guide you through so that you can focus on your health and well-being.
If a loved one has been killed in an accident with a distracted driver, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Your New Hampshire personal injury attorney can help you pursue the compensation your family deserves to cover the unexpected costs that arise in these situations, as well as the loss of income you are suffering due to the loss of your loved one.
Distracted driving accidents often lead to catastrophic, life-changing injuries and losses for victims. Long-term physical and psychological care may be needed and disfigurement may be involved; victims may suffer loss of limb(s), loss of life, or serious brain injury. Victims deserve to be compensated for these losses, and an experienced personal injury attorney in New Hampshire can help you pursue the justice you deserve.