Distracted driving has become a leading cause of car accidents in recent years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that distracted driving caused 3,450 deaths in 2016 and 391,000 injuries in 2015. As the number of car accidents has increased, the number of lawsuits citing distracted driving as the cause has also increased.
Distracted driving, according to the NHTSA, is any activity that takes the motorist's attention from driving. It includes texting, eating, drinking, talking to passengers and adjusting the stereo or navigation system.
The NHTSA rates texting as the most serious distraction because reading or sending a message diverts the driver's attention from the road for five seconds. This is like driving the length of a football field going 55 mph with the driver's eyes closed. One expert claimed that texting increases the risk of an accident by 23 times.
Distracted driving may be grounds for a negligence action because the offending motorist did not comply with the reasonable care that should have been afforded the other driver, passengers or pedestrians. Driving at high speeds while texting or talking on a phone may also be considered reckless behavior, which could lead to the award of punitive damages.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another person, a personal injury attorney can help file a lawsuit to recover compensation. Compensation may be awarded for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Don't hesitate to contact an attorney to discuss any questions you may have regarding your case.