Distracted driving is any activity a person engages in while behind the wheel that takes their attention away from the road. It could be eating, flipping through a playlist, or letting your mind wander. This habit injures thousands of people on U.S. roads every day.
If you think the driver who crashed into you was distracted, contact a skillful Indiana car accident attorney at GDS Law Group. Very few motorists will admit they weren’t paying attention, and the evidence in these cases is often slim. However, our attorneys have years of experience handling car accident cases, and we’re prepared to help you. We’ll look for clues in the vehicle, talk to law enforcement and witnesses, and subpoena phone records to find the truth.
What Counts as a Distraction?
Distracted driving doesn’t just happen on the highways. It can happen at red lights, stop signs, while sitting in traffic, and even while circling in a parking lot waiting for a spot. Because these activities involve low speeds, many people try to squeeze in a bit of multi-tasking, but your full attention is needed to drive defensively.
If you’re in a moving vehicle, pull over and park before you:
- Text or email anyone
- Glance at notifications
- Use your phone to make or answer calls
- Take photographs or post images online
- Browse the internet
- Watch videos
- Program a GPS or search for a location
- Adjust a music player’s settings
- Groom yourself by putting on makeup, combing hair, flossing, shaving
- Eat or drink
- Look for something inside your vehicle
- Focus on something outside your vehicle
All of the above count as distractions. And all it takes is a split-second of inattention to cause a serious collision.
How Distraction Affects a Driver
There are three recognized types of distraction:
- Manual- Any action that takes your hands off the wheel. Reaching down to fish your cell phone out of your purse would count as a manual distraction.
- Visual- Anything that causes your eyes to veer from the road. If your children are acting unruly in the backseat and you turn to look at them, you’ve been visually distracted.
- Cognitive- Anything that causes you to lose mental focus on driving. Thinking about a troubling conversation at work can take your mind off the road, and make you slower to react to dangerous situations.
Texting while driving combines all three types of distractions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Sending or reading a text while driving can take up to five seconds—during which time you’ve driven the length of a football field while going 55 mph.
What Indiana’s Doing About Distracted Driving
Since 2011, it has been unlawful to text while driving in Indiana. Violators face fines of up to $500. Per the state of Indiana, “people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to crash… your reaction time will be about 30 percent worse if you’re trying to text and drive. You’ll spend an average of 10 percent of your time out of your lane.”
Despite the dangers of distracted driving, people aren’t showing any sign of stopping. A 2016 National Safety Council poll found that 79 percent of respondents “rarely, occasionally, or often” made phone calls or programmed a GPS, 69 percent played with a smartwatch, 68 percent fiddled around with digital music, and 53 percent texted while driving.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer for Help
GDS Law Group has helped hundreds of injury victims in Indiana. There’s no single approach to handling a distracted driving claim, and we focus on your individual needs and the most effective ways to represent you. Call (765) 313-7092 to schedule free, initial consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. We can also be reached via the online form.