Distracted Driving Accidents
Many auto accidents happen because the person behind the wheel is distracted. Instead of paying attention to the road, their mind is elsewhere. Maybe their mind is wandering as they contemplate work or family. Maybe an accident on the side of the road caught their attention. Or maybe they pick up their phone to read or send a text. All of these issues and more lead to distracted driving accidents. If you or a loved one were injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, we recommend contacting an experienced attorney.
At Randall & Stump, PLLC, one of our distracted driving accident lawyers can represent you in a claim for the compensation you deserve after an accident caused by a distracted driver. We have fought hard for many individuals and families living in or around Charlotte, NC. Let us fight for you.
What is Distracted Driving?
Most people associate distracted driving with cell phone use. This is not wrong, but it is a limited picture of distracted driving. There are actually three main forms of distraction, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Visual distraction – The driver takes their eyes off the road.
- Manual distraction – The driver takes their hands off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive distraction – The driver’s mind is not focused on driving.
These distinctions are important. The other driver’s hands may have been on the wheel, and they may have been facing ahead just before the crash that caused your injuries. However, the driver’s focus could have been on other things, so they were not paying attention to driving.
The driver could have been relatively focused on driving, yet also looking at their phone to read a text. The driver could have mostly had their eyes on the road and their mind on the task but was holding coffee or trying to eat while they drove. All of these types of distraction, separately and together, increase the risk of accidents. If you were hurt in an accident and you believe the at-fault driver was distracted, do not hesitate to call and talk with one of our distracted driving accident lawyers.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can occur from a wide range of actions and bad habits while behind the wheel, including:
- Eating and drinking
- Reaching for and moving objects in the car
- Using the vehicle’s controls and devices, including the radio, temperature controls, and GPS
- Speaking with and focusing on other passengers
- Becoming lost in thought
- Phone usage
At Randall & Stump, PLLC we have represented many texting and driving victims and their families. We have witnessed firsthand how devasting reading or writing one short text can be. For the driver, it seemed like a few seconds. They looked down, slid their thumb over the keyboard, and looked right back up. But in those few seconds, their vehicle may have moved 100 feet or more. It only takes a brief amount of time for the situation to change and for an accident to become unavoidable.
If you or a loved one experienced injuries due to a collision, and you believe the other driver was texting, please call a texting and driving accident lawyer right away.
North Carolina Texting and Driving Laws
Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous. Drivers rarely realize how long their eyes are off the road when they glance at their screen. By the time they notice a hazard, such as a braking vehicle or an animal in the road, they have less time to react. They may only have one hand on the wheel. Not only is their reaction time slower, but there is also the greater risk of over-correcting. What could have been a minor accident could become a serious crash. These dangers are why it is illegal to text while driving in North Carolina.
Under North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) §20-137.4A, it is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle on a public street while using a mobile phone to:
- Manually enter letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with someone else
- Read any email or text messages transmitted to the device or stored in the device
This law makes it illegal to read or send texts, emails, or in-app messages, without using voice-operated technology, while you are driving a vehicle anywhere in public. If you are caught texting or emailing while driving, the ticket is an infraction, punishable by a fine. However, if someone caused a texting and driving accident that lead to your injuries, then this infraction may be evidence of the other driver’s negligence. This may be important during a personal injury suit or insurance claim.
If you have concerns regarding an accident caused by texting and driving, call a distracted driving accident lawyer from our firm for help today.
Let us Help You Fight for Compensation
When you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, including one who was illegally reading or sending a text, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic injuries. You might assume you will obtain this compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer. This is typically correct. Most car accident claims are resolved through an insurance settlement and do not go to trial. However, it may take more work than you expect. It is better to work with a distracted driving accident lawyer who can protect your rights during an insurance claim than to fight an insurer.
By hiring an experienced attorney, you have someone to accurately value your claim and negotiate a fair settlement. We will fight for you to receive compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Property damage or loss
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Modifications to your vehicle, home, or workplace
- Loss of consortium