What Are the Dangers of Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is one of the most common reasons for car accidents today. Both personal injury and fatalities related to distracted driving accidents have been on the rise for a long time.
Humans play an outsized role in distracted driving accidents. If you have been injured because some other driver was not paying attention to the road, you could be entitled to compensation.
Signs of Distracted Driving
An important factor about distracted driving to note is that many people think it is when your eyes are off the road. That is true, but that is not the entire story. Distracted driving can also occur when a driver’s mind is pulled in another direction, off the task of driving.
For example, if a driver is engaged in deep conversation with a passenger or someone on the phone, their mind could be too focused on the discussion and not able to multitask and pay attention to driving. If a driver is texting at a stop light, which initially seems like a prudent choice, their mind is still on that conversation up to a minute after they have put their phone down. Any distraction from driving is simply too risky.
Distracted driving signs are not always the same. Although you can tell a drunk driver by someone swerving in their lane, distracted drivers could show the same sign. They may be looking down at their phone, causing them to swerve in their lane. You may also see drivers eating, reading, putting on makeup, or even playing with pets.
Whenever you see drivers who you suspect are distracted, for whatever reason, stay away. Do not engage them. Do not try to correct their behavior. It is not your job to be the police. Call it in when you get to a safe spot, but do not engage them.
What to Do if You Are Hit by a Distracted Driver?
If a distracted driver causes an accident in which you suffer injuries, it can be confusing to know what you should do next. That is why this quick guide is offered to make clear what steps you need to take at the accident scene, and in the days and weeks after your accident.
- Call 911. No matter how minor your accident is, call 911. Even minor fender-benders can cause serious injuries, so make sure you get emergency medical attention. If the ambulance crew cannot treat you at the scene, they will take you to the hospital for further evaluation. Calling 911 also sends the police to your accident scene, where they will speak with witnesses, the other driver, and you to try to determine what happened. They may not assign fault in their accident report, but the report can prove invaluable for your legal team to show that someone else caused your accident.
- Take pictures and video. After any car accident, make sure you take as many pictures and videos as you can. Get images of the entire accident scene, your injuries, all vehicles involved, and anything else that seems relevant. Pictures really do speak a thousand words, and it can be helpful to have these images and videos from moments after the accident.
- Speak with witnesses. The police will speak with witnesses to better understand how your accident occurred. Especially in minor accidents, witnesses may not wait around for the police to arrive. Make sure you at least get their contact information so that your legal team can speak with them further. Witnesses often provide unique perspectives about the seconds leading up to your accident that could prove the other driver was distracted.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver. This information will be on the police accident report, but you may not get access to that for a few days or even a week. By exchanging contact information with the other driver, you make it more likely that they will not be able to hide and avoid covering your expenses.
- See your doctor. Even if you are treated at the scene or the hospital and released, go see your regular doctor. No one knows you better than your regular physician. They have extensive records on you. Your doctor will be able to quickly tell how the accident and your injuries have affected your life. These records will prove vital to attempting to get you full and fair compensation. Your doctor can also help you chart a path toward rehabilitation, together giving you a good chance of making a full and complete recovery.
- Keep a personal injury journal. Many times, the best evidence of what happened comes in your own words. However, over time, you will forget minute details of the accident and how your life has changed since you were injured. By writing every single day, you ensure that the details of your accident are not forgotten. You also ensure that you make clear every hurdle and pain you faced during your recovery. Putting the effects of your injuries into your own words can be vital evidence to make your case.
- Speak with a lawyer. This may be the last thing on your mind after a car accident, but the sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner you can focus entirely on your health and recovery. Your lawyer will shoulder the legal burden of collecting and reviewing evidence, filing a claim, and advocating for your best interests.
Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Clients after Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving accidents happen every day. Motorists can be part of the solution and keep their eyes and mind on the road. However, drivers cannot control what anyone else does. If you have been injured in a car accident because another driver was distracted, you may be entitled to compensation. Reach out to the Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Our experienced legal team will investigate the cause of the accident and fight to secure your rights. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington DC, Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we work with clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.