A distraction while driving is considered to be any activity that takes a driver's attention away from their responsibilities of controlling the vehicle, making quick decisions, following traffic laws, and responding to their environment. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,474 people lost their lives in 2009 in the United States and an estimated additional 448,000 suffered injuries in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted driving. According to the NHTSA data, approximately 16 percent of all motorists under the age of 20 who were involved in fatal crashes in 2009 were distracted drivers.
Types of Distractions
There are three forms of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. When drivers take their eyes off of the road, their lack of visual attention can cause a crash, such as when cars quickly change lanes or a pedestrian steps into the street. A manual distraction takes place when motorists take their hands off of the wheel to reach for something in the car, adjust the mirror, dial or answer the phone, or read or send a text message. Many drivers are also guilty of cognitive distraction. This occurs when motorists take their mind off of the tasks of driving. What makes texting while driving so hazardous is that it combines all three forms of distraction.
Cell Phone Laws
Although there is an "all cell phone ban" in Rhode Island for school bus drivers and novice drivers (i.e., drivers under the age of 18), there isn't a widespread hand-held device ban in effect. However, text messaging is banned for all drivers in Rhode Island. Whether a cell phone is hand-held or hands-free, studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving delays a driver's reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent (the legal limit for drunk driving).
Distracted Driver Collision Causes
Rhode Island distracted driver accidents are caused far too often by the following:
- using a cell phone to call or text someone;
- putting on makeup;
- using a GPS;
- changing the radio or CD;
- eating or drinking
- talking to others in the vehicle;
- watching a video; and
- reading maps.
It only takes one second of distracted driving for a serious Rhode Island car accident to occur.
Dedicated to Personal, Social, and Economic Justice
An auto collision shakes a person's life, forcing them to adjust to changes they hadn't anticipated. A person injured in a car collision may lose months, if not years, of wages, in addition to paying steep medical bills for hospital stays or physical therapy. On top of these challenges, the insurance companies can be daunting and overwhelming, especially when they give you the runaround. Their representatives are trained to limit their own losses by resolving cases for as little as possible.
Our personal injury attorneys will skillfully resolve your distracted driving case. The Rhode Island car accident lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush are armed with years of legal experience in personal injury law and helping people file and litigate auto insurance claims. We cannot undo what happened, but we can make sure that whoever caused the accident is held accountable. Our attorneys are familiar with the many tactics insurance companies employ to deny you the compensation you deserve. Please call our firm today at 401-274-7400 to find out more about how we can help you. We are committed to achieving extraordinary results for each of our clients.