It only takes a split-second of being distracted to cause a crash that injures or kills another road user. In 2018, more than 2,800 people were killed in distracted driving crashes across the United States, according to the NHTSA.
Distracted driving may be a bigger problem than we think:
- It doesn't always involve cellphones or other electronic devices
- It often doesn't leave behind any physical or digital evidence
- Distracted driving is everywhere and many drivers engage in it in some way or another
Distracted driving has been a threat to public safety ever since the advent of cars, but cellphones have received most of the scrutiny over recent years. That's because those who text and drive are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than those who don't, according to donttextdrive.com.
The use of cellphones while driving is prohibited in Maine, unless a device is mounted or used for emergency purposes. Yet, not all drivers obey the law. Within the first month of the cellphone ban going into effect, Maine police issued 232 citations to drivers who violated the traffic law.
Distracted driving has become a greater problem today
The law and message is clear, and many drivers are aware of the reasons why they shouldn't drive distracted. Yet, many of them do it anyway. In a recent study conducted by Insurance.com, about 1,000 drivers were surveyed.
According to the survey, 87 percent of participants said that distracted driving is worse today than it was two years ago. Another 75 percent said that it has become a 50 percent greater problem today than two years ago.
The results were published in a report dubbed Distracted, discourteous and dangerous: Drivers confess to bad behavior.
Here are the results of the survey:
- Most distracting activities as reported by survey participants:
- Texting (24%)
- GPS navigation (20%)
- Children in the car (16%)
- Frequency of texting and driving:
- Only texted a few times ever (50%)
- Texted 3 or 4 times per year (14%)
- Texted 3 or 4 times per month (13%)
- Taking pictures while driving:
- Of a scenic view while driving (46%)
- Of the weather (38%)
- Taking selfies (35%)
- Taking pictures of car accidents (20%)
What legal action can I take if I was injured by a distracted driver?
If you were involved in a crash with a distracted driver, you have the right to pursue a claim against the driver and his or her insurance provider. A distracted driving crash will require a thorough investigation by an experienced Maine attorney. This includes obtaining cellphone records, checking the at-fault driver's social media posts, obtaining surveillance camera footage (if available), speaking to witnesses and obtaining a detailed police report.
The car accident attorneys at Jabar LaLiberty & Dubord, LLC have been handling crashes involving distracted driving and other forms of negligence since 1979. We also take on the insurance companies and help crash victims obtain every penny owed to them.
To schedule your free consultation, contact us online. We serve clients in Portland and Waterville.