Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car crashes in Little Rock and throughout the country. Every single day, approximately eight people in the United States die in motor vehicle accidents that involve a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If a distracted driver has injured you, know that Attorney Paul Pfeifer and the team at the Pfeifer Law Firm are on your side. We know how devastating these accidents can be, and how frustrating it can be to be hurt by someone who wasn’t paying attention behind the wheel. We’re here to help you hold the at-fault party accountable for their poor decisions and make sure you get the fair compensation you need and deserve.
If you’ve been hurt, call us for a 100% free and confidential consultation with a Little Rock car accident attorney. Read more here to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving and how we can help.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from driving. Cell phones are a common distraction for drivers, but they are not the only distraction. Various other situations may result in reduced focus, including eating or drinking, trying to program a vehicle’s GPS, or applying makeup. Regardless of the source of the distraction, the dangers are the same. A distracted driver should be held responsible for the harm that results from their inattention.
The forms of distracted driving can be divided into three categories:
- Cognitive distraction – Cognitive distractions are those that take your mind away from driving. Examples would be having a heated argument, stressing about an upcoming project at work, or daydreaming.
- Manual distraction – Manual distractions take the motorist’s hands off of the wheel. Drivers should keep both hands on the wheel when operating their vehicles. Distracted drivers may remove one or even both hands from the wheel. Eating and drinking are common manual distractions, as are putting on makeup, changing the radio station, reaching for a cell phone, and digging through a bag for something.
- Visual distraction – This form of distraction occurs when drivers remove their eyes from the road. For example, motorists who look at their phone or a GPS to get directions are visually distracted. Other examples of visual distractions are looking at accidents that have happened along the roadside, looking at children in the back seat, and reading or watching video while driving.
Common examples of distracted driving include:
- Talking on the phone
- Texting while driving
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Grooming or applying makeup
- Adjusting the GPS or navigation system
- Adjusting the radio
- Adjusting the air conditioner
- Looking at something outside the vehicle
- Watching a video
- Using headphones to listen to music
- Having pets in the vehicle
- Reaching for something on the dashboard or seat
Why Is Distracted Driving So Dangerous?
Distractions take a driver’s attention off the most important task at hand: driving. This can cause a driver to crash. Distracted motorists put themselves and everyone they share the road with at risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of every ten deadly crashes in the U.S. involves distraction, resulting in over 3,000 fatalities per year.
Many people think they can text while driving because they don’t realize how far their vehicle travels in a short time or how much their reaction time changes when their eyes are off the road. Reading a text, or sending one, takes your eyes off the road for at least five seconds. When traveling at 55 mph for five seconds, you cover the length of a football field. If you’re texting, that’s like going the distance with your eyes shut.
Distracted Driving Laws in Arkansas
Arkansas updated its texting-while-driving laws to expand the texting definition to include any type of “wireless interactive communication.” This expands the prohibition of texting to include emailing, viewing videos, playing games, browsing the internet, and posting on social media while driving.
The following is illegal while driving in Arkansas:
- Texting and wireless interactive communication
- Handheld cell phone use in school zones or work zones
- The use of any phone by drivers under 18
- The use of handheld phones by drivers between the ages of 18 and 20
- The use of any type of phone by school bus drivers while driving
Possible consequences include:
- Suspended driving privileges
- Attorney’s fees
- Court costs
- Insurance rate increases
Common Injuries Caused by Distracted Drivers
Some of the most common injuries caused by distracted drivers include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Chest injuries
- Rib and torso injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Knee injuries
- Nerve damage
- Wrist injuries
If you or someone you love has been severely injured as a result of a negligent driver’s inattention behind the wheel, it is critical that you seek medical attention for these injuries as soon as possible. In addition to tending to your health, these medical documents can be used by our lawyers to build your case against the at-fault party.
Compensation for Distracted Driving Accidents
When you’re injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be able to recover compensation. There are multiple ways to do this. For one, you could file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. If the driver has no insurance or if their coverage isn’t enough to cover your expenses and losses after the accident, you could turn to your own insurance policy if you have Underinsured Motorist Coverage or Uninsured Motorist Coverage. You could also file a civil lawsuit to seek damages in court if their insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement.
Types of compensation you may be eligible for include:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Property damage
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
The Arkansas distracted driving lawyers at the Pfeifer Law Firm understand how devastating an accident caused by a distracted driver can be. If you have sustained serious injuries in a crash with a distracted driver, we can help you seek compensation. Our attorneys can launch an investigation to determine whether distracted driving was a factor in the crash. We will take steps to preserve all relevant evidence and identify the at-fault parties. We will stand up for you and your rights, and we’ll pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve after your ordeal.
Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation, during which we can discuss all your legal options. Our Little Rock personal injury lawyers work on a contingency-fee-basis. This means that you won’t owe us a dime unless we help you secure financial compensation.
Don’t wait, and don’t go through this alone. Call us today at 501-374-4440. We’re here to help.