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Distracted driving is one of the main causes of serious and fatal car crashes in the country, and sadly, these entirely preventable accidents claimed 3092 lives in 2010, and injured another 416,000, according to National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. Distracted driving is the main culprit in rear end accidents and fender benders. Many studies have shown that distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
Individuals who allow themselves to be focused on something other than the task of operating their vehicles are guilty of distracted driving, and could be held liable for any injuries or deaths caused by their actions. If you are the victim of a distracted driver, it is important to contact a Tampa personal injury attorney so you can understand your options to pursue fair compensation through a personal injury claim.
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While on the road, drivers have a responsibility to try to prevent accidents and harm to other motorists and passengers by following traffic laws and staying alert. The situation on the road can change in a matter of seconds, as a child or animal can run into the street, traffic can come to a sudden standstill, something can fall out of the back of a vehicle, and street lights can change. NHTSA reports that 18% of injury crashes in 2010 involved distracted drivers, and that 11% of drivers under the age of twenty who were involved in fatal accidents were distracted at the time of the collision.
Using a hand-held device while on the road makes a driver 4 times more likely to be involved in a serious injury crash, and texting while driving increases a driver's crash risk 23 times more than if they were not distracted. Perhaps one of the most alarming facts is that while only driving at 55 miles per hour, a driver's vehicle can cover the entire length of a football field in just 4.6 seconds, which is the average amount of time a person's eyes are taken from the road while sending or receiving a text message.
There are three main types of distraction that can take a driver's focus from the road and can lead to accidents: manual, visual, and cognitive. These accidents are preventable, and if a driver chooses to take their full attention from the road, they can be held liable for any injuries or damages they cause to victims.
The driver removes one or both hands from the steering wheel. Manual distraction is often caused by the following actions:
- Eating or drinking
- Answering the phone
- Reaching for something in the car
- Searching through the console or glove compartment
- Adjusting the radio
- Using a handheld device
The driver takes their eyes away from the road for a long period of time or only a few seconds. This distraction can result from:
- Reading or writing a text message
- Looking at their phone
- Looking at a passenger
- Reading a map or GPS device
- Grooming, such as applying makeup or shaving
The driver's mind is not focused on the road and the task of driving. This type of distraction often involves:
- Speaking on the phone or listening to a phone call
- Composing a text
- Having a conversation with a passenger
- Driving while tired
- Driving while emotional
- Driving while under extreme stress
Were You Hurt by a Distracted Driver?
Our team at Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law are dedicated to providing caring and effective representation to car accident victims throughout the Tampa area. We believe those who have sustained painful and expensive injuries as a result of another person's negligence deserve generous compensation and powerful legal counsel to assist them in pursuing a fair settlement.
If you or a loved one was injured by a distracted driver, you do not have to suffer in silence; our Tampa distracted driving accident attorney can thoroughly evaluate the circumstances of your accident to determine liability and help you fight for proper compensation.
During more than three decades of combined experience, our attorneys have assisted countless individuals and families in personal injury cases, and we would be proud to lead you through this sometimes complicated legal process. We can assess the extent of your injuries and work with you to create a comprehensive claim or lawsuit to help you seek to hold the negligent driver responsible for the damages they inflicted upon your family.
Our detailed understanding of the law and personal injury cases will be a great benefit to your case, and you can be confident that you will receive nothing less than exceptional representation at every step of your proceedings.
If you would like to learn more about the ways Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law can assist you during this difficult time, please call our offices at your earliest convenience or take advantage of our free case evaluation. We are available 24/7!
- We've Handled Hundreds of Personal Injury Cases
- We'll Meet You at the Scene of Your Accident
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- Over Three Decades of Combined Legal Experience