Rhode Island Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

A distraction while driving involves any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from controlling the vehicle, making quick decisions, following traffic laws, and responding to changes in traffic or road conditions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,100 people lost their lives and 431,000 suffered injuries in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted driving in 2014.

Types Of Distractions That Can Cause A Distracted Driver Accident​

Driving distractions take three forms: visual, physical and mental.

  • Drivers using cell phones experience visual distraction when their eyes are taken off the road to dial, read a text or answer a call.
  • When a driver’s hand is taken off the wheel to answer a call, dial a number or type a text message, a physical distraction occurs.
  • cognitive distraction occurs when a driver pays attention to the cell phone rather than the road.

Specific Examples Of Distracted Driving Include:​

  • 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.

Car Accidents Caused By Texting And Driving​

distracted driving accident attorney - distracted driver accident

One of the most recognized cell phone distractions involves talking or texting while driving. Distracted driving has reached epidemic levels in Providence and across the country. At any given moment in the United States, there are 660,000 vehicles driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone. Each day, more than 9 people are wrongfully killed and more than 1,060 are injured in distracted-driving crashes.

Text messaging involves visual, manual and cognitive distraction. It is one of the most dangerous tasks a driver can perform behind the wheel.

While sending a text message, a driver typically takes his or her eyes off the road for at least 5 seconds. When traveling at highway speeds, this equates to driving the length of a football field without looking at the road. Texting and driving makes a crash up to 23 times more likely to occur.

Rhode Islanders who use cell phones behind the wheel put other motorists in danger. It is illegal to text and drive in Rhode Island.  Any cell phone use while driving may cause an accident.

Answering a call, placing a call and continuing to talk while driving cause manual and cognitive distractions. Dialing, for example, nearly triples the risk of crashes, while reaching for a device increases the risk of a crash 1.4 times. Talking or listening increases crash risk 1.3 times.

Hands-free cell phone devices, which are supposed to be less dangerous for drivers, have been found to be no safer than handheld phones.

Rhode Island 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 is not a ban on the use of hand-held devices.

Studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving — whether the phone is hand-held or hands-free —delays a driver’s reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent (the legal limit for drunk driving).

Distracted Driving And Truckers

Interstate truck and bus drivers are prohibited by federal law from operating their vehicles while using handheld cell phones. Unfortunately, not every driver obeys these rules. Accidents still occur in Rhode Island involving truckers who were distracted by cell phones.

Truckers may become involved in crashes when using other electronic devices in their vehicles such as navigation systems, or when distracted by activities such as eating, smoking, grooming, adjusting vehicle controls or even just daydreaming.

A truck driver is considered an agent of his or her employer while at work. Therefore, trucking companies may also be held legally liable for New England truck crashes caused by distracted driving. You may take action against the trucking company based solely on the fact that the trucker was negligent while on duty, or based on an argument that the trucking company was unreasonably careless. For example, a trucking company without a policy on employee phone use could be considered legally liable based on the company’s own failures.

An experienced attorney can investigate a truck accident, and if distracted driving is a contributing factor, gather the evidence needed to build a case against the truck driver and other potentially responsible parties.


a father and mother reading a book to their two childrenFor anyone who is really looking for a team of Attorneys that will fight for you every second of the way, this here is the team you want and need in your corner. Attorney Ryan Kelley and his team helped me through such a difficult time after my accident. The stress of thinking what happens next was lifted off my shoulders.

Communication is key for me, and my M&N team was on point with the level of communication they provided. The get-well cards and flowers after surgery were just a special touch that brightened my day. I wasn’t treated like another number or another case, they really made me feel like family. They really care for you and your wellbeing. Words will never express but I will forever be grateful for all they have done for me. Thank you !!!!!”
– Heather P.

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They have been absolutely wonderful throughout my case-with a mix of professionalism and friendship all in one.

Startling Distracted Driving Statistics​

Key distracted driving findings from the NHTSA include:

  • At a typical daylight moment, 9 percent of drivers in the U.S. are using a cell phone (including hands-free phones) and 1.3 percent of drivers are visibly manipulating hand-held devices.
  • 48.6 percent of drivers say they answer incoming calls. 58 percent of these drivers continue to talk after answering.
  • Young drivers are more likely to answer calls and manipulate hand-held devices.
  • One in 4 drivers places calls while driving.
  • One in 10 drivers sends text messages or emails while driving.
  • 35 percent of those who admit to texting and driving say they continue to drive when sending a message instead of waiting until a stoplight, handing the phone to a passenger or using a voice command feature to send the message.
  • 14 percent of NHTSA survey respondents say they read text messages or emails while driving.

Rhode Island Distracted Driving Lawyer 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. In addition to these challenges, the insurance companies can be uncooperative and intimidating. Their representatives are trained to limit their losses by paying out as little as possible in settlements.

The Providence car accident lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush have decades of legal experience in personal injury law and helping people who have been injured litigate auto insurance claims. We cannot undo the injuries that you have suffered, but we can make sure that whoever caused the accident is held accountable.

Our Rhode Island car accident lawyers are familiar with the many tactics insurance companies employ to deny you the fair compensation you deserve. Please call our firm today at 401-289-1583 to find out more about how we can help you. We are committed to achieving extraordinary results for each of our clients.

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