Attorneys Helping Families and Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
Drivers have a responsibility to themselves, their passengers, and others sharing the roadways. All drivers must refrain from engaging in activities which could cause them to become distracted from the task of driving. Any driver who allows his or her eyes to come off the road, hands off the wheel, or stops concentrating on driving is increasing the risk of a serious or fatal auto accident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 10 people are killed every day in the United States – and another 1,153 are injured – from distracted driving. Between 2011 and 2013, more than three thousand people per year died in car accidents involving distracted drivers.
Younger, more inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 face an increased risk. This age group has the highest proportion of fatal collisions involving driver distractions. The CDC also reveals a correlation between texting and driving, and drinking and driving. Its studies show that close to half of all high school students of driving age text or send emails while driving, and students who text while driving are also almost five times as likely to drink and drive. This is a frightening statistic, considering these students are not only putting themselves directly in harm’s way, but countless others as well.
Common Types of Driver Distractions
Distracted driving is any activity that takes the vehicle operator’s attention off the task of driving while behind the wheel. The Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving reports that in just five seconds, in a vehicle traveling 55 mph, a car travels the length of a football field – and when someone is looking at their phone instead of the road, that means that they’re traveling this distance essentially blindfolded.
Some of the most common observed and reported driver distractions include:
- Reading, sending, or receiving emails
- Using a smartphone or cell phone
- Talking to passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Tending to personal grooming
- Taking selfies or other pictures
- Using a GPS device or navigation system
- Watching videos
- Adjusting a radio or other in-vehicle systems
- Daydreaming or getting “lost in thought”
- Reaching for objects
- Events, people, or objects outside the vehicle
How to Minimize Your Risk of a Distracted Driving Accident
Drivers can minimize the risk of being involved in a distracted driving accident by eliminating all common driver distractions. Put your phone away while driving. If you are tempted to answer your phone if it rings or you hear a text message notification, the only answer is to turn off the device. Apps are available for download to alert those contacting you that you are currently unable to respond.
In addition, inexperienced drivers should avoid transporting too many other people. This is particularly true of first-time drivers or those who just have recently gotten a driver’s license. Passengers should be kept to a minimum to reduce the risk of driver distraction.
Take the time to learn how to use the navigation system, radio, CD player, and other in-vehicle devices before you take to the road. This will lessen your chances of becoming distracted should something goes awry.
Avoid taking pictures of any kind while you are behind the wheel. Leave picture-taking to your passengers, or when you have safely stopped your vehicle, and don’t pose for a picture that another person wants to take of you while driving.
In cases where an individual sustains serious injury or is killed in a distracted driving accident, the victim and his or her family should seek legal counsel right away. Distracted driving is negligent driving behavior, and when negligence leads to another person being injured or killed, that person must be held accountable.
Rhode Island Distracted Driving Attorney
To find out how the attorneys at the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC can help you seek justice and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses, call us and schedule your free consultation with a Rhode Island distracted driving attorney today.