Distracted driving is one of the main dangers on the roads today. The act can create many risks and has negative impacts associated with it, including fatal accidents. The statistics bear this out: over 3,000 lives were claimed by distracted driving in 2020.
Understanding What Distracted Driving Means
As we’ve shown, distracted driving can be deadly. In Arizona, laws have been enacted to prohibit all individuals from operating vehicles while engaging in activities that make them less focused on the road. This includes using mobile devices – such as phones, tablets, etc. – while driving. Basically, the law prohibits the use of anything that makes them less aware of their surroundings.
While there may be an assumption that mobile devices are the only culprit, they are not. There are other types of distracted driving.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out that there are three types of distracted driving.
This includes things like rubbernecking at accidents, trying to read a billboard, programming a GPS, looking at other cars around you, or simply becoming too focused on admiring the scenery.
This refers to behaviors that make you remove your hands from the car wheel. The most common one under this category is using mobile devices, reaching for something inside the car, eating as you drive, or changing radio stations. All these are manual distractions that demand you remove one or both of your hands from the wheel.
These kinds of distractions take the driver’s mind away from driving. They include worrying, daydreaming, talking with a passenger or on the phone, or singing.
Using a phone to text or make a call while driving are the two most common distractions on the roads. These two are especially dangerous since they fit into every listed distracted driving category. Using a phone takes your hands off the wheel and your eyes and mind off the road. Using your cell phone as you drive creates high chances of injuries and deaths in the U.S.
What to Do After a Distracted Driving Accident
After a distracted driving accident, action needs to be taken immediately. The situation can be alarming, disorienting, frustrating, and even tedious. But action must be taken to prepare for a possibly complex claims process. This includes noting if either driver was distracted prior to the accident. However, noting the conditions can be helpful in building a case and getting justice.
Steps to Take Immediately After the Accident
After a car accident, things can be overwhelming and confusing. However, you still need to act as the steps right after the accident can make a big difference if the accident eventually involves a judicial process.
- Remain calm. Don’t let emotions control you after an accident. Try to remain as rational as possible. This may be a challenge, but it’s in your best interest.
- Get emergency medical attention if needed. Sometimes injuries may not be evident immediately after an accident. Even if you feel well, a medical exam is still necessary. It’s important to call 911 if anyone on the accident scene is injured.
- If possible, get off the road. If your vehicle is in a bad position and there is traffic, try to get it out of the way of traffic if possible.
- Report the accident. Do this even if no one needs emergency treatment. Call the local police or 911.
- Don’t leave the accident scene. It’s essential to remain at the accident scene until you are allowed to leave by the police. The only excuse here is if you are hurt and need medical care.
- Give an account of events. Let the officer know whether the other driver was distracted. Remain as factual, respectful, and calm as possible.
- Take photos: Take many photographs from different angles. Document the road and vehicle conditions as well as the entire scene. Get license plate numbers.
- Ask for insurance and contact information of the other driver. If there are eyewitnesses and passengers, get their contacts too.
Steps to Take Days or Weeks Following the Accident
After leaving the crash scene, there are more steps to take, regardless of whether you are at the hospital or home.
- See a doctor. If you are not in already in the hospital, get checked as soon as possible. Make an appointment and get a full medical assessment. Medical records are vital in lawsuits.
- Contact insurance. Notify your auto insurer and inform them about the accident.
- Keep a journal. Make detailed notes while they are still fresh. This can help when demanding damages for emotional distress or pain and suffering. Keep medical records and all expense receipts incurred safe.
- Don’t post it. Steer clear of social media for a while. Avoid posting anything about the accident on social platforms, which can affect the case.
- Contact a Phoenix car accident lawyer. You need the best legal representation in a distracted driving car accident case. You should contact a lawyer who is conversant with the laws in the region. The best lawyers take the weight off your shoulders, allowing you to concentrate on getting better or returning to everyday living. Experienced lawyers are great at gathering the necessary evidence and building a compelling case.