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distracted driving

The Truth About Distracted Driving and Texting

It’s no secret that many cities and states have banned the use of texting while driving. While there are some cities in Arizona that ban texting, including Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, there is not currently a statewide ban. Unfortunately, this may contribute to a large number of distracted driving accidents within the state. While texting and driving have certainly been a concern, it’s important to remember that distracted driving, in general, has been a problem for many years.

We’ve all seen distracted people who are driving while using handheld devices. These can include texting, emails, surfing the web, Facebook, and even taking selfies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three main types of distractions that are included with distracted driving. These include:

    • Visual: your eyes are not on the road
    • Manual: your hands are not on the wheel
    • Cognitive: your mind is not on driving

Here is a lighthearted video that simulates the effects of distracted driving.

Forms of Distracted Driving

A 2014 Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) report showed that of 309,654 stops over a nine-months period, there were various forms of distracted driving besides texting. These included the following:

  1. Putting on makeup and general grooming
  2. Communicating with other occupants of the vehicle
  3. Smoking or use of tobacco
  4. Reading
  5. Using mobile devices other than cell phones, such as iPads and laptops
  6. Drinking and eating, particularly the consumption of alcohol while driving
  7. Using equipment within the vehicle such as a GPS or radio
  8. Reaching for items within the vehicle
  9. Distractions outside the vehicle

In other words, distracted driving can be anything that distracts your mind, hands, and/or eyes from controlling the vehicle.

Can You Prove Distracted Driving?

If you suspect that you were injured by a distracted driver, there are some factors that may help verify your suspicions. These include:

  • Statement from Eyewitnesses – People who were in the other car may know if the driver was distracted and be willing to testify accordingly.
  • Cell Phone Usage – While this would require a subpoena, the records of cell phone usage can tell if the driver was on a call, using social media, or texting at the time of the accident.
  • Evidence at the Crash Scene – A lack of tire marks at the scene of the accident usually indicates that the driver did not use his or her brakes. Since the driver did not try to use the brakes, this can mean that the driver was distracted at the time of the accident.
  • Data from a Black Box – Electronic data recorders can also indicate if the brakes were not applied or if the vehicle did not slow down before the wreck.

It is vital to collect as much evidence as possible. Many people will try to hide the fact that they were distracted, so one or more of these factors may help prove it.

Can Distracted Driving Affect Your Car Accident Claim?

If you can prove that you were hit by a distracted driver, that evidence can help support your claim for compensation. Anyone who drives while being distracted is negligent and is a safety risk to others. Folger Law Firm stands ready to assist you if you or a family member has suffered an injury due to a distracted driver.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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