Distracted driving is often viewed as a more recent phenomenon. Concerns about this dangerous driving behavior have increased as the use of smartphones became more prevalent over the last 10-15 years.
However, there are many distractions that predate smartphones, such as eating while driving or fiddling with the radio. Below, we discuss some of these overlooked driving distractions that could increase the risk of a crash.
If you were injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced Lafayette-based vehicle crash lawyers are ready to help you seek full compensation for your damages. We know how to prove distracted driving and link your injuries to the crash.
An initial consultation with one of our attorneys is free of charge. There are also no fees while we work on your case.
Galloway Jefcoat. Millions Recovered. Call (337) 984-8020.
Driving Distractions Besides Texting or Using a Smartphone
There is a multitude of distractions drivers need to watch out for when they are behind the wheel. Taking your eyes or mind off the road for just a second because of a distraction can be incredibly dangerous. It is so easy to lose focus on driving and not realize that something has distracted you.
Conversations With Passengers
Even if you are facing forward and your eyes are on the road, something as seemingly harmless as a conversation can take your mind off driving. You might not react as quickly to danger ahead. You might not anticipate danger as well as you would if were not engaged in conversation.
While contentious conversations may be more likely to be distracting, any conversation could cause you to lose focus just enough that you are not behaving like a safe driver.
It is generally best to avoid in-depth conversations while behind the wheel, whether they are with a person in the car or someone on a smartphone or cellphone. You can limit the conversation to when the vehicle is stopped or parked.
Eating/Drinking and Driving
Most of us lead busy lives so we may not feel we have a lot of time to stop for a meal or even a snack. To help save time, many people bring their morning coffee with them and drink it during their commute to work. Some people may only snack on something small while behind the wheel, but others may try to eat full meals, like sandwiches or cheeseburgers and fries.
The issue with eating or drinking while driving is that it takes your focus off the road. Some drivers may go as far as to take one or even both hands off the wheel to sip their drinks or take a bite of food.
Another problem is the possibility of spilling something. Drivers may react to try to catch the food item, which could cause them to drift into another lane of traffic. They may also try to clean up the mess without first pulling off to the side of the road or somewhere else away from traffic. All of these actions create a crash risk because to do these things, drivers have to look away from the road, taking their eyes and concentration off driving.
Changing the Volume or the Station on the Radio
Simply turning the volume up or down can be dangerous, particularly in heavy traffic. Serious rear-end crashes can occur in heavy traffic because one driver is distracted.
The problem nowadays is that playing music on the road involves much more than older car stereos. There are so many features that it can be confusing, even after the driver has been using the car for a significant amount of time.
It is important to avoid fiddling with the radio too much. Wait until you are stopped or parked to do that. If you have a passenger riding in front, let him or her adjust the radio or other features on your vehicle’s onboard entertainment system.
Sometimes drivers have a stressful day at work, or they may be having problems home, such as with a personal relationship. They can get lost in their own thoughts about various things that are going on in their lives.
While daydreaming about problems, tasks you need to do, or even something you are looking forward to, is only natural, it is important remain focused on driving. If your concentration drifts to other things, you are much more likely to get into an avoidable crash.
These and other distractions, such as those discussed above, are dangerous even when there are fewer cars on the road. However, they are particularly dangerous in heavy traffic when there is less time to react to hazardous conditions and other vehicles.
Proving Liability for a Distracted Driving Crash
There are various pieces of evidence that may help your lawyer prove that distracted driving occurred. For example, vehicle damage can indicate distracted driving. For example, if you were injured in a severe rear-end crash, it is reasonable to wonder if the liable driver was distracted. How else would you explain why he or she did not slow down at all?
There may be other reasons why the liable driver did not slow down. He or she may have been speeding. However, if you combine the severity of the damage and lack of skid marks with other evidence, you may have proof of distracted driving. For example, cellphone records may show the other driver was on the phone, texting or using a social media application right before the crash occurred.
If there are witnesses, they may have seen the driver looking at the radio or arguing with a passenger. They may have seen the driver eating or drinking something. The responding police officer may see food in the car, or even food or drinks spilled in the car. This could be another indication of distracted driving.
Even though distracted driving may seem obvious, it can be challenging to prove. That is why you need an experienced lawyer to help you.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat Today. We Are Ready to Help
Victims of distracted driving are often left with serious injuries that require expensive medical treatment. In the aftermath of such a traumatic event, victims need an experienced legal advocate to help them determine their options.
While your medical treatment is the most important thing, seeking compensation is also important. Medical treatment for a car crash injury is not cheap.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we know how to pursue maximum compensation for car crash victims because it is what we have been doing for decades. Our services come with no upfront cost so there is no risk to you in working with us.
Schedule your free legal consultation to learn more: (337) 984-8020.