Studies show that distracted driving is a growing problem across the country, even as awareness campaigns raise alarm about the dangers of mobile phone use from behind the wheel. The National Safety Council has declared April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to help call attention to an issue that affects young drivers the most but negatively impacts drivers of all ages.
Texting gets the most attention, but it’s far from the only way drivers let their attention wander. Mobile phones are used to talk to others, for social media, music selection, video recording and a number of behaviors that take driver eyes away from the road. Other forms of distracted driving include the use of hands-free mobile phone apps, eating, putting on makeup, using GPS or reading maps, and unsecured pets.
Statistics show that most drivers are aware of the problem but believe it does not apply to them personally: that they are a better driver than others. The National Safety Council also stresses that distracted driving is underreported by police and law enforcement, which means that it is a bigger problem than the existing statistics show.
When a driver isn’t attentive to their surroundings, it can cause rear-end accidents at stop lights and stop signs, slow response time to unexpected events on the roads, and illegal lane changes that can lead to serious injuries and accidents.
The first thing a driver should do after an accident is to make sure that a police report is filed and that all details of driver behavior are documented, including the use of mobile phones. If a police report does not include this information but you believe the other driver was irresponsibility using a device, a personal injury attorney can investigate your case for further evidence.
When another driver was at fault for your injuries or damages to your vehicle, you should consult an attorney to determine how you may seek compensation for your losses and to set you on the path of recovery.