Texting while driving and other distractions on the road are some of the most dangerous activities people can perform behind the wheel. Traveling at highway speeds, taking your eyes off the road for just 5 seconds can mean traveling 440 feet down the road, or more. When drivers carelessly fail to pay attention while driving, people can be seriously injured.
If you or a loved one was injured or if you lost a family member because of a distracted driver, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law. Our Fayetteville distracted driving lawyer may be able to help you file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries and other harms. To schedule a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices online or call us today at (479) 316-0438.
Dangers of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of serious car accidents in the U.S. The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) points out that in 2016, one of the most recent years with full statistics, there were around 3,450 deaths in the U.S. from distracted driving. In the previous year, over 100-times that number were injured by distracted driving crashes. Other statistics point out that around 25% of all crashes involve texting and driving.
Distracted driving is more than just texting and driving. Any distractions you face behind the wheel can make it harder to react to emergencies and dangers. Cell phones contribute heavily to these distractions. Texting and driving as well as obviously dangerous things like browsing social media or reading emails are all common distractions that lead to car accidents. Even more mundane distractions, like looking down to change the radio or input something into your GPS, can take your attention off the road long enough to cause an accident.
As mentioned, looking away from the road for just 5 seconds at highway speeds can mean traveling 440 feet down the road. This distance is longer than the length of a football field, and a lot can happen in this distance. The Arkansas driver’s manual recommends looking 15 seconds ahead (1/4 mile at highway speeds) to avoid dangers. Missing 5 seconds of what’s happening in front of you makes it incredibly difficult to react to sudden dangers, especially at highway speeds.
How to Sue for Distracted Driving Accidents
If you were injured in an accident caused by distracted driving, you can use the at-fault driver’s dangerous driving decisions to help you prove your case. When filing a lawsuit for injuries after a car crash, you must prove that the at-fault driver did something wrong before you can win damages. Often, this means pointing to violations of traffic laws, such as running a stop sign or driving under the influence. Alternatively, you can point to generally unsafe or unreasonable driving decisions to prove they were at fault.
Arkansas has some laws against distracted driving, but general standards of safe driving can help prove the distracted driving was dangerous where these laws do not apply. In Arkansas, it is illegal to text while driving – which includes sending or reading other text communications or social media posts, as well. If the distracted driver was doing something else, common-sense standards of what is “safe driving” can also help show that other distractions like putting on makeup, fiddling with the radio, or eating could also be unreasonable distractions.
Once you prove the at-fault driver’s fault, you must also prove the damages you suffered. This means producing things like medical bills and health records to show the damages you paid for medical care. You can also claim damages for lost wages if you missed work, which you usually prove by bringing in pay stubs and bank statements showing your normal pay and its absence during your recovery period. You can also claim damages for pain and suffering, which are more difficult to prove in exact values. These damages can be substantial since the Arkansas Constitution ensures there are no limits to damages for physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment, and other “non-economic” damages.
What to Do After a Distracted Driving Accident
If you were involved in a car crash and you suspect the other driver was texting or otherwise distracted when the accident took place, there is some evidence you should collect. First, you should collect the standard information you should always collect after a car accident: the other driver’s name and contact information, their insurance information, their vehicle’s registration information, the location of the accident, and the car’s make, model, and license plate number. In addition, some evidence is especially helpful to prove distracted driving.
Get a look to see if the driver’s phone or other distractions are visible in the driver’s area of the car. Listen for any statements the driver makes about what they were doing before the accident, such as an admission to texting while driving. Additionally, look for and take pictures of skid marks. A lack of skid marks demonstrates the other driver may not have seen the accident coming and made no effort to brake before the crash, potentially because they were not watching the road.
Fayetteville, AR Injury Lawyer for Distracted Driving Victims
If you or a loved one was injured in a distracted driving accident, call Fayetteville distracted driving injury lawyer Ken Kieklak today at (479) 316-0438 to schedule a free consultation on your case. After a car accident, it is vital to talk to an attorney about your case before you accept any damages from the insurance companies or the other driver. Call today or contact us online to schedule your free consultations.