Georgetown Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
There are a lot of things going on in today’s automobiles. Cell phones, texting, even talking to your passenger, or checking kids in the back seat takes your eyes from the important task of actually driving. Distracted driving is one of the top causes of accidents today.
If you’ve been injured in a crash because the other driver was distracted, get help from the Georgetown Car Accident attorneys of Evans Moore, LLC today. When you call us at (843) 995-5000, you’ll get a free consultation where we can discuss your accident in detail. We’ll help you determine what your next best steps should be. Call us or contact us online to set up your initial meeting.
Definitions and Causes
Distracted driving is defined by most insurance companies as any non-driving activity that takes place behind the wheel of the car. So for instance, shifting gears would be a driving activity, but turning on the air conditioner would not. Anything that takes your mind and eyes from the road is considered a distraction.
Some types of distractions are unavoidable. Glancing down to check your speed or gas level takes your eyes off the road, but you need to do it to drive safely. If you’re a parent, you cannot help checking on your child in the back seat occasionally. The best thing to do for these types of distractions is to know that you are going to have them and allow for them.
Other types of distractions are less necessary. Eating, putting on makeup, texting, are all examples of things that probably don’t need to be done while driving down the road at high rates of speed, even though everyone has done it and has probably seen examples of someone doing much worse.
However, that is not an excuse. Knowing that you are distracted and not paying attention to your driving is only the first step to avoiding getting distracted, and possibly getting into a serious accident. Even if the other driver is at fault, if you were distracted when you were hit, you could bear some of the responsibility, and that could affect your recovery.
Common Distractions and Ways to Avoid Them
- Texting and phone calls. There is really no safe way to text and drive. One in four accidents now are caused by texting, and some states have made texting while driving a serious offense. But it appears people are not going to stop, so Google, Apple, and other apps are now available to read texts out loud while you drive. Talking on the phone is almost as distracting as texting. If you believe you can talk and drive without distraction, consider how you walk around the house while on the phone at home. Many states now require hands-free phone apps in vehicles as well. The South Carolina legislature is considering the “Hands-Free Act” to make SC one of those states.
- Talking to passengers. If you have someone in your car, you probably brought them to talk to, especially on a long drive. It would be rude to ignore them. But passengers have been distracting drivers since the horse and buggy days. Be aware of road conditions and try to keep conversations to a minimum in hazardous or high-traffic situations.
- Children and pets. Everyone has seen someone on the road with a dog in their lap. Maybe you are that person. Having a pet loose in the car is dangerous for you and for the animal. Children should be safely secured in approved child seats, and if they begin arguing, fighting, or demanding snacks, you should try not to look back to deal with it. Pull off the road if possible to settle any discussions.
- Adjusting interior controls. Today’s vehicle dashboards resemble an F18 cockpit with all the lights and sliders and touchscreens. If your car does not have voice controls or easy-to-adjust knobs, don’t try to adjust a touchscreen while driving. The hand-eye interface is too complicated. Besides, touchscreens are seldom located in a convenient place.
- Other distractions. If you must eat in your car, avoid eating things that will spill, that are hot, or that require you to use both hands, like the person allegedly seen eating cereal on the freeway. Putting on eye makeup or shaving is both distracting and potentially hazardous. And if you have a car fight with your significant other, pull over until you calm down.
If You Were Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident
Both police and insurance companies frown upon those who are involved in accidents while distracted. Under a legal rule called comparative negligence, if your actions were partially to blame for the accident, your recovery can be reduced in proportion to your blame.
If you were engaged in one of these activities and had an accident, your first step should be to call 911 and report the accident. Seek medical attention. And contact Evans Moore, LLC to discuss your next steps.
Do not admit any fault at the scene. Try to avoid saying things like:
- “I shouldn’t have been texting”
- “I was on the phone”
- “I was looking at my GPS”
At the same time, do not discard anything that could be considered evidence. As much as you might want to hide your phone or push your makeup kit under the seat, this will only make things look worse for you.
If you believe the other driver was distracted, you should contact an attorney immediately. Proving distracted driving is very difficult, so you should attempt to document whatever it was that made you think the driver was distracted.
Obtain witness information right away, especially if anyone says they saw the other driver doing something before the collision like eating or arguing in their car. Take photos of the crash scene, and of the other vehicle if you can.
The best course for you following this type of accident is to show that you, at least, were not distracted when the accident happened. The fewer distractions you have in your vehicle at the time of the accident, the harder it will be for the other driver to claim you had any fault in the collision.
The attorneys of Evans Moore, LLC know the best ways to protect you from claims of distracted driving, and how to prove the other driver was at fault. Call us at (843) 995-5000 if you believe you were a victim of distracted driving, and let us help you with your case. We offer a free consultation to evaluate your claim. Contact us today.