Distracted Driving: Top Cause of Fatal Car Accidents in Many States

In its website, the Bruner Law Firm says that “one of the most life changing events one can face in almost every city in the world is auto accident. Hardly a week goes by when one does not see on the news or read about a fatal or near fatal traffic collision. Auto accidents are never anticipated. They occur suddenly and most often, with very little or no warning.

Though drivers know how to avoid a car accident, so many do not consciously practice safe driving every time they get behind the wheel. By trying to do way too many things at once, they end up performing the primary task of driving safely very poorly. It is, therefore, no wonder that auto accidents are happening with increasing frequency when we look at the increasing busyness and need for multi-tasking.”

Distracted driving is one of the worst forms of bad road behavior. It includes eating and/or drinking, adjusting the radio, smoking, applying make-up, grooming, conversing with a passenger, driving while angry or while lost in thoughts, looking at a road map, adjusting GPS coordinates, and – all while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Distracted driving happens when a driver’s attention is taken away from the primary task of driving, making him/her fail to operate his/her vehicle properly and so commit traffic infractions that often result in accidents. Though unintentional, distracted driving can be extremely damaging.

Texting or using a hand-held phone used to be the most dangerous form of distracted driving. With the expansion of smartphone functions, however, besides texting and making or receiving a call, the dangers of cell phone use now includes sending emails, taking photos, shooting videos, conducting video chats, and using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Snapchat.

There are states where distracted driving, particularly cell phone use, is the top cause of fatal car crashes. These crashes are terrifying and often overwhelming ordeals which leave many victims with extensive medical bills and other expenses, lost wages from work, or long-term disability.

In 2013, distraction-related crashes took the lives of 3,154 individuals and injured 424,000 others. In 2014, data from DISTRACTION.GOV, the Official U.S. Government website for distracted driving, show increases in both counts: 3,179 fatal crashes, and 431,000 injuries, all involving distracted drivers.

Personal injury lawyers believe that accident victims should pursue legal action against the party responsible for their losses, while at-fault drivers should be legally required to compensate their victim.

The Life-threatening Realities of Drunk-driving

On April 22, 2015, at about 2:30 in the morning, a Toyota Prius that was being driven by a 19-year old female collided head-on with a pickup truck along Highway 50 (near Stockton Boulevard) in Sacramento. Witnesses said that the female driver drove eastbound on the fast lane of Highway 50; she, however, drove on the wrong lane (the westbound lane).

All three passengers of the pickup truck, as well as the young female driver died in the crash. Weeks of investigation into the accident revealed that the 19-year old driver had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20% at the time of the tragic accident.

Drunk driving still remains to be a major traffic offense in all U.S. states. In 2013, those arrested and charged with DUI in the U.S., including in the District of Columbia, totaled to 1,171,935. In 2010, records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), showed that the number of arrests went as high as 1.4 million. With these huge figures traffic authorities are relieved that the yearly number of fatal accidents does not go over 10,500. Authorities attribute this bit of success in being able to maintain the number of fatal accident to stricter laws, the zeal of traffic enforcers in implementing these laws, and to the efforts of private groups, such as the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) which, since 1980, has helped in the passing of new DUI laws, like the Zero Tolerance law that prohibits those below 21 from having in their blood system any measurable amount of alcohol and the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) law, which authorizes an arresting officer to confiscate the license of drivers who refuse to take or fail a breath test.

The current blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for car drivers is 0.08%. This BAC limit is still considered high based on the fact that a person’s driving ability and response time to emergency situations are already affected even at 0.05% BAC level. Application of the law, however, only allows traffic enforcers to consider and, therefore, arrest an individual due to alcohol-impairment if he or she has a BAC level of 0.08% or higher. Those caught can face a drinking under the influence (DUI) or drinking while intoxicated (DWI) charge. To further reduce risks of accidents due to drunk-driving, some states authorize traffic enforcers to consider a driver as already alcohol-impaired if they see that his or her abilities have been affected by alcohol even if such driver’s BAC level is below 0.08%.

Drunk-driving injury lawyers, such as those from the Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., know that a drunk driving charge can have serious repercussions and can affect an at-fault driver’s entire personal, professional, and financial life upon conviction. The said firm, however, also believes that getting drunk and then driving is a choice freely made by a person. In the event of an accident, therefore, the driver who is at fault in the accident should be brought to justice, be made to pay the consequences of his or her poor decision, as well as be made to pay compensatory damages to his or her victim/s.

Dangers associated with driving motorcycles

Motorcycles are an exciting alternative to driving. A motorcyclist has a greater ability to maneuver through traffic in an agile and quick manner, as a vehicle that takes up far less room on the road than a passenger car. With this increased freedom comes increased responsibility to safely navigate the roads on a motorcycle.

Even the safest and most cautious motorcyclist isn’t immune from accidents. Many drivers of cars do not practice proper safety methods near motorcycles. According to the website of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, this leads to a dramatically increased risk of injury should a person be involved in an accident.

Taking a few precautions could make all the difference for a motorcyclist when it comes to avoiding an accident:

  • Make sure you wear the proper attire at all times, most importantly a full face helmet. Brain injuries are common when a helmet is absent and an accident occurs.According to Consumer Reports, a full-face helmet that’s approved by the Department of Transportation is the best choice. A jacket, pants, and gloves keep your skin covered from being scraped if you fall.
  • Always check the status of your motorcycle, such as oil and other fluids, especially if you haven’t ridden in a while. If anything sounds or looks funny, don’t ride.
  • The most important safety tip for motorcyclists once out on the road is to drive defensively in order to avoid the negligence of other drivers. Make your presence known when you’re driving near other vehicles.

If another motorist’s negligence causes you serious harm while on you’re on motorcycle, the other motorist should be held responsible. You do not have to feel like other cars “bullied” you out on road when driving a motorcycle.

Car Accidents: What the Law Says

Injuries are never easy to deal with – especially if they cause disability. Having a disability, either temporary or permanent, can severely impact the way you live or even cost you your job. Being disabled, however, is a usual consequence of car accidents. The expense does not stop at medical procedures that are required for recoveries, no. There is also the loss of wages for the days that the victim is unable to fulfill his or her duties at work, as well as the damages to the car in question as well the trauma and pain sustained.

Of course, there is no monetary equivalent that could ever amount to the psychological devastation caused by the accident; however, according to the website of  Williams Kherkher, the law regarding personal injury allows for you to file legal action against the guilty party who caused your injury so that you may receive financial compensation as retribution for the wrong done to you.

An Iowa car accident lawyer could tell you that these proceedings can be extremely difficult and tedious. The stress alone from all the requirements and deadlines can be detrimental to your recovery. This is why, should you be the victim of a car accident, legal aid is hired immediately. Their duties are not confined to the limits of a court room and legal proceedings.

It is also their duty to lend a compassionate, helping hand and seeing to it that your rights are defended, that your recuperation is prioritized, and that you are granted only the very best of deals for the wrong done to you. Personal injury cases, specifically those under the bracket of car accidents, can be notably difficult to go through with, depending on the nature of the crash’s origin. If the crash was due to a defect, then it is the manufacturer who is at fault and going against a big brand name company can be intimidating.

It is within your rights, however, to be treated with the same level of dignity and respect as anyone else, whether they are in a position of wealth and power or not – and the law, as well as those who enforce it, is meant to protect you from the negligence of other people.