Can You Prove Distracted Driving in a Personal Injury Claim?

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents in the United States. Each day, at least nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. [1]

If you take your eyes off the road for 5 seconds while traveling at 55mph, you will have covered the length of a football field. [2]

testing and driving

 

If you’re involved in an accident with a distracted driver and you are filing a personal injury claim, you can prove distracted driving in the following ways:

Request for access of the driver’s mobile phone records.

If you think that the driver has been using his phone on the road, your lawyer could subpoena the mobile phone company to release the driver’s usage reports. This will help you establish if the driver was texting, sending an email or even watching a video at the time of the crash.

 

Look closely at the scene.

A distracted driver will leave clues on the scene of the accident without even knowing it. For instance, if a driver was focused on the road at the time of the crash, there would have been tire marks on the road as a sign that he or she tried to hit the brakes after seeing you.

It’s very important to look closely at the scene and even reconstruct it with the help of video surveillance footage and photographs.

 

Look for eyewitnesses.

Like any other case, an eyewitness is one of your strongest burdens of proof as you file for a personal injury claim. An eyewitness should make a clear statement about how he or she saw the driver being distracted before the crash.

Your eyewitnesses should be able to release official statements to help you prove your claim.

 

Ask for vehicle data.

Most modern cars are now equipped with technology that will tell you understand how a driver was behaving behind the wheel at the time of the accident. If you ask for vehicle data through a subpoena, you will be able to see a record of the car’s speed or any activity inside the car before the collision.

Finally, you need the help of a Nashville car accident lawyer to help you win your case by gathering all the evidences that you need to prove your claim for personal injury.

Proving distracted driving will not only help you get justice, but it will also serve as a lesson for other drivers to always be responsible whenever they are on the road. Find the right lawyer to help you work on getting burden of proof that will give you a better chance at winning your case.

 

Is It Illegal?

Even if there is no national ban on texting while driving, state laws and fines have become more aggressive in order to thwart the practice.

In the U.S., texting while driving is banned for all drivers in 48 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is mostly due to the alarming number of traffic accidents, including injury and loss of life, linked to texting while driving.

Even with so many warnings of the dangers of texting behind the wheel, almost 50% of drivers surveyed said that they have texted while driving. In a study by the American Automobile Association, 34% of teens have admitted to being distracted because of texting behind the wheel.

A lot of drivers get distracted because they are using their phones while holding the steering wheel. In fact, a survey conducted in 2017 revealed that more than 42% of high school teens admitted to using their phone while driving in the last 30 days. [3]

 

Can A Police Officer Prove A Driver Was Texting?

There are a number of ways for a police officer to prove that you are texting behind the wheel.

But these are preemptive, which usually leads to a ticket. Police officers use overpass spotters, texting detectors (that works like radar guns) and visual cues to determine if a driver is texting.

But after an accident, it becomes more difficult for a police officer to prove distracted driving. Most officers use the methods mentioned above with reliance on testimony and on scene evidence.


The next time you are driving, make sure to keep your hands off your phone to avoid getting distracted or spotted by law enforcers.

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Sources:

[1]: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Distracted Driving

[2]: CDC – Distracted Driving Statistics

[3]: CHOP Research Institute – Cell Phone Use While Driving Statistics And Texting And Driving Facts