Spring is upon us, and with April, we have distracted driving month. Distracted driving is a problem that has picked up steam in recent years, and it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers, and if such a driver leaves you injured in a car accident, seek the professional legal counsel of an experienced car accident attorney in South Carolina today.
Distracted Driving: The Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 people lost their lives to distracted drivers in 2019 alone. The Zebra (an insurance comparison company) fleshes the statistics out with the following (culled from various national sources):
- In 2019, distracted driving played a role in 8.5 percent of all deadly traffic accidents (NHTSA).
- In 2015, distracted driving left 391,000 people injured in traffic accidents (NHTSA).
- Distracted driving plays a role in about 20 percent of all car accidents (NHTSA).
- Every day, distracted driving claims about eight lives, which amounts to approximately 3,500 deaths related to distracted driving each year (CDC).
- On average, drivers are distracted by their phones about 10 percent of their total driving time (NHTSA).
In other words, distracted driving is very real – and very dangerous.
Distracted Driving Defined
The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) defines distracted driving as driving while engaging in any activity other than driving that takes one’s attention away from doing so safely. Distracted driving increases the risk that a traffic accident will happen, and distractions themselves are grouped into the following forms:
- Visual distractions that require your eyes to leave the road ahead and the traffic all around
- Cognitive distractions that require your thoughts to focus on something other than driving safely
- Manual distractions that require one or both of your hands to engage in anything other than handling the wheel of your car.
Texting manages to be uniquely dangerous by combining all three types of distraction into one potentially deadly activity.
While distracted driving is, indeed, very dangerous – with plenty of statistics to back up the claim – it can be difficult to prove that the other driver was distracted. All of the following can help toward this end:
- Eyewitness Testimony – Eyewitnesses who see the accident take place can provide invaluable information about exactly what took place, which can, ultimately, help you prove the other driver’s distraction. Sometimes, eyewitnesses actually see the at-fault driver on his or her phone.
- Accident Reconstruction – Reconstructing the accident in question is sometimes necessary to demonstrate which driver is at fault, and it can also help support the claim of distraction. Experienced car accident attorneys have the resources and ability to have an accident reconstruction created in support of your claim.
- Your Recollections – By jotting down your memories of what happened during the course of your accident, you keep your memories fresh – and these memories can go a long way toward supporting your claim of distracted driving. Common signs of distracted driving include slowing down apropos of nothing that is happening on the roadway and otherwise erratic driving, failing to follow traffic signs and signals, and more.
- Cell Phone Records – Sometimes, cell phone records become available, and these can ultimately prove that a driver was dangerously distracted at the time of an accident.
Proving the at-fault driver’s liability is often complicated but having an experienced car accident attorney on your side is an important first step.
You have been injured in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, and the damages you’ve incurred can be considerable.
Your medical expenses will likely begin with emergency care and treatment and can extend to all of the following:
- Surgery and aftercare
- Treatment and care from doctors and specialists
- Physical therapy and/or occupational therapy
- Pain management
- Chiropractic care and other holistic medical treatments
- Home health care
- Adaptive medical devices
- Adaptations to you home, office, and/or vehicle
- Prescription medications
Additionally, many kinds of serious injuries go on to cause secondary health issues and can require ongoing medical treatment and care that makes pinpointing a final cost difficult (but necessary nonetheless).
While you struggle to regain your health and well-being (and watch your medical bills mount in the process), you can expect to miss time away from work and to experience a decrease in pay as a result. Depending upon the kind of injuries you sustain, you could be looking at decreased earnings into your future, and you could be forced to abandon the career you’ve worked so hard to foster.
Emotional and Physical Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering associated with being seriously injured in a violent car accident that was caused by another driver’s distraction can be immense. The effects many victims suffer include PTSD-like symptoms, such as:
- Emotional lability
- Increased anxiety
- Severe mood swings
- Depressive bouts
- Fear of getting back behind the wheel
- Crying jags
These symptoms and others like them can inadvertently push your support system away just when you’re most in need of the support they offer.
The long journey toward recovery can be arduous at best, but without fair compensation that covers your damages in their entirety, it can be even more difficult. You, however, are not alone – a dedicated car accident attorney can help.
Turn to An Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today
Being injured by a distracted driver can leave you feeling unmoored – with no idea how best to proceed. This is why the knowledgeable car accident attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina dedicate their practice to helping clients like you successfully guide their distracted driving claims toward favorable outcomes that include just compensation. Our trusted legal team has a solid track record of successfully defending the rights of our clients, and we’re here for you, too. For more information about how we can help, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 864-388-9100 today.