Car crashes caused by distracted driving are incredibly common, with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reporting that one in five accidents involve distracted driving in some form. Texting while driving gets much of the attention in distracted driving prevention and safety campaigns, but this focus on cell phone use may mask the prevalence of other causes of distracted driving that can be equally dangerous. If you are injured as a result of another driver’s distraction due to any of these behaviors, you may be entitled to compensation.
Frequent Driver Distractions
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes frequent reports on driving safety and the factors involved in traffic accidents. A recent report published in 2020 focuses on the effects of distracted driving in fatal crashes. The report defines distraction as a situation in which “drivers divert their attention from the driving task to focus on some other activity instead.” While the NHTSA’s data analysis found that cell phone use was a common cause of distraction, especially among drivers below the age of 40, more than 80 percent of driver distractions came from some other source, even in the younger age groups. Common examples include:
- Other vehicle occupants. This includes when the driver is conversing with passengers or attending to children or pets in the back seat.
- Adjusting vehicle controls. This includes radio controls, lights, heat and air conditioning, GPS systems, mirrors, windows, and more.
- Objects inside the vehicle. Objects that move or shift in transit can be distracting, as can objects that a driver attempts to reach for.
- Occurrences outside of the vehicle. Animals, car accidents, billboards, scenic views, and roadside attractions are all possible sources of distraction.
- Eating and drinking. A driver’s hands and eyes may be occupied while eating or drinking non-alcoholic beverages behind the wheel.
- Daydreaming. Sometimes, distraction occurs simply because the driver’s thoughts are elsewhere.
Evidence of Distracted Driving
When you have been injured by a distracted driver, it is important to work with an attorney as soon as possible to look for evidence that may point to the driver’s distraction or other negligent behavior. In some cases, the driver’s own admission of their distraction can help your case, especially if it is recorded in a police report or 911 call. However, you will often need to seek other evidence, including testimony from witnesses to the driver’s behavior, photographs of the vehicles and accident scene that show possible distractions, and any available camera footage that shows the circumstances leading to the collision. Your attorney will use all available evidence to build a strong case for your compensation.
Contact an Appleton Car Accident Lawyer
Whether your crash was caused by texting and driving, some other distraction, or any other negligent actions on the part of another driver, the attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. can represent you as you pursue recovery for your damages. For a free consultation, contact an experienced Green Bay, WI personal injury attorney at 920-739-7366.