As per the latest statistics released by NHTSA on distracted driving, 3142 people lost their lives in 2020 in road accidents caused due to distracted driving. What is distracted driving? Under what circumstances is a driver considered distracted? What can you do after being hit by a distracted driver? Should you contact an accident attorney in Fayetteville? Let’s find answers to all the related questions.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is like doing multiple tasks while driving. If you are texting, talking on the phone, talking to people in the vehicle, eating or drinking, or doing anything that takes your attention away from driving, it is considered distracted driving.
Texting is considered the most lethal aspect of distracted driving. Even typing the tiniest message would require 5 seconds of your attention. Driving at 55kph while texting would be like driving the length of a football ground with your eyes closed. While doing so, if you see someone crossing the road or lose your attention, it won’t take long to lose the balance of driving.
What to do when you get hit by a distracted driver?
As a victim of distracted driving, the best you can do is take immediate steps to help you get your rightful claim. Accidents are stressful and a heavy burden on finances. While your pain cannot be reduced by getting compensation, you can definitely work towards getting better treatment for your injuries.
Here is what you should do after a distracted driving accident:
Stay calm and call for help
Even if you are badly hurt, you should stay calm and don’t get aggressive with the other driver. You should keep your cool and avoid communicating with the other driver.
You should instead seek help, dial 911, or ask someone else to do so. Seek immediate medical attention. If the passengers of the other vehicle are also hurt, try to help them to be on the safer side.
Call the police
The police investigator is one of the few first responders at any accident scene. It’s very important for police officials to be present to have proof of the accident. The police investigator prepares a report of the accident that helps the victim to file the claim.
When interviewed by police officials, refrain from accepting your blame. Just refuse to give answers if you feel unwell or give neutral answers that can’t be used against you in a court of law.
Take notes, collect evidence
The police report is usually the only evidence of the accident if you do not take notes or collect evidence. Be a mindful victim, and do not rely just on the police report to fight your battles.
Pay attention to everything around you, the witnesses, the CCTV cameras, and the accident scene. If you could, take pictures of everything. In case of a distracted driving accident, take note if the driver was talking, eating, texting, or talking on the phone. Your attorney can take the help of these notes and ask for call records of the driver to prove he was distracted at the time of the accident.
Note down the time of the accident, the weather conditions, the condition of roads, and every tiny detail you can remember. Did the accident happen at an intersection, or was it on a highway? Were the lights red? Was the flashing hand signal on? At what speed was he driving? Were you on the sidewalk or the crosswalk?
All these minor details can help you turn your case in your favor. Such evidence also helps your attorney present stronger points in a court of law.
Call your insurance company
If you were in another vehicle, call your insurance company and inform them about the accident o get your car insurance activated. If you were a pedestrian being hit by a distracted driver, call your health care insurance provider.
Informing your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible is utterly important. Any delay in reporting allows the insurance adjustors to take advantage of the reason for not providing you with the required coverage.
What steps has NHTSA taken to avoid distracted driving accidents?
NHTSA considers April as Distracted Driving Awareness month to eliminate risky road behavior. It appeals the teens, parents, and employers to spread the word about distracted driving. It asks teens not to talk to their friends if they are driving. They should instead speak up and encourage their friends not to talk, text, or call while driving.
To parents, NHTSA appeals to lead by example by not driving with distraction in front of kids or without. They should educate their teens on the repercussions of being arrested for distracted driving, like a suspended license or delay in getting the license.
It also asks educators and employers to spread the word about distracted driving by highlighting its dangers.
When to hire an attorney in a distracted driver accident?
Even when a distracted driver hits you, you can seek the help of an attorney. If the accident has led to multiple injuries resulting in hefty medical bills and loss of work, you can hire an attorney and seek compensation.
They can work upon finding the evidence per the laws and help you recover your damages either with negotiation or trial, as the need be and circumstances demand.
You can choose to hire an attorney just after the accident. Contact our personal injury attorneys in Fayetteville today and get claim estimates.