Types of Distracted Driving
There are three main types of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions take your eyes off the road, manual distractions take your hands off the wheel, and cognitive distractions take your mind off driving. Many activities can be classified as one or more of these types of distractions.
Some examples of distracted driving include:
- Talking on the phone: Engaging in a conversation, whether hands-free or not, can divert attention from the road.
- Texting: Texting or using a smartphone while driving is a significant source of distraction, involving visual, manual, and cognitive aspects.
- Using a GPS: Inputting or adjusting navigation settings on a GPS device can take attention away from driving.
- Using a touchscreen infotainment system: Operating a vehicle's touchscreen system can be distracting, as it often requires manual and visual focus.
- Adjusting the radio: Changing radio stations, adjusting volume, or fiddling with other entertainment settings can distract a driver.
- Using a laptop or tablet: Using electronic devices like laptops or tablets while driving is highly dangerous and distracting.
- Reading: Reading materials, whether physical or digital, can divert attention from the road.
- Watching a video: Viewing videos, whether on a smartphone or an in-car entertainment system, is a dangerous distraction.
- Applying makeup: Grooming activities, such as applying makeup, can take a driver's eyes and hands away from driving.
- Eating or drinking: Consuming food or beverages while driving can cause manual and cognitive distractions.
- Talking to passengers: Engaging in extensive or emotionally charged conversations with passengers can divert attention from driving.
- Daydreaming: Allowing the mind to wander or daydreaming while driving can result in a lack of focus on the road.
Proving Liability in a Distracted Driving Accident
Proving negligence in a distracted driving accident typically involves establishing the four key elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care: Establish that the defendant (the distracted driver) owed a duty of care to others on the road. This is a fundamental principle that all drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty: Demonstrate that the distracted driver breached their duty of care. In a distracted driving case, this often involves proving that the driver was engaged in an activity that took their attention away from the road, such as texting, talking on the phone, or other distracting behaviors.
- Causation: Establish a causal link between the distracted driving behavior and the accident. Show that the distraction was a direct cause of the accident. This can involve presenting evidence such as witness statements, traffic camera footage, or cell phone records.
- Damages: Demonstrate that the distracted driving behavior resulted in damages. This may include physical injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses incurred as a result of the accident.
To specifically prove distracted driving, additional steps might include:
- Cell Phone Records: Obtain cell phone records to demonstrate whether the driver was using their phone at the time of the accident.
- Eyewitness Testimony: If there were witnesses to the accident, their statements can be crucial in establishing that the driver was distracted.
- Police Reports: Check for any statements or findings in the police report that indicate distracted driving as a contributing factor.
- Photographic or Video Evidence: If available, provide visual evidence such as photos or videos that capture the distracted behavior.
- Expert Testimony: In some cases, experts in accident reconstruction or human behavior may be called upon to provide testimony supporting the claim of distracted driving.
- Admissions or Statements: If the distracted driver admits to engaging in distracting behavior, or if there are statements (written or verbal) indicating distraction, these can be powerful pieces of evidence.
How Our Firm Can Help
If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation. However, recovering compensation can be difficult, especially if you are dealing with a workers’ compensation claim. That is why it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side.
At Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A., we have been helping injured workers in Hollywood and the surrounding areas for over 50 years. We understand the challenges you are facing and can help you navigate the legal process. Our attorneys can investigate your accident, gather evidence, and help you build a strong case. We can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and, if necessary, represent you in court.