In today’s fast moving electronic age, many people feel the need to stay connected at all times, even when they are driving. It seems that conversations with family, friends and business associates via phone or text just cannot wait long enough for the driver to reach his/her destination. Couple this with the endless billboards and other distractions on the roadways and it is small wonder that accidents involving distracted drivers are on the rise. If you or someone you know has been injured in a distracted driving accident, speak with a skilled Chicago personal injury attorney that can advise you of your legal rights and how to obtain just compensation for your injuries.
What is Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Unfortunately, far too many drivers fall prey to the temptation to engage in distracting activities while on the road. This is especially common with younger drivers. Some of the most common ways drivers become distracted include:
- Texting: Roughly 25% of teens admit to responding to a text once or more while driving. 20% of teens and 10% of adults admit to engaging in multi-message text conversations while driving.
- Talking on the Cell Phone: Though not as dangerous as texting, talking on a cell phone while driving is still responsible for far too many distracted driver accidents. The NHTSA also found that using a headset is “not substantially safer than hand-held use.”
- Eating/Drinking: Since the advent of fast food drive-throughs, eating and drinking has become more common among drivers.
- Grooming: When people are late for work or another important engagement, they can often be found combing their hair or even putting on makeup while in traffic.
- Adjusting the Radio or Music Player: Changing the radio station or CD is a common occurrence among drivers in most age categories.
- Talking with Passengers: This is unavoidable to a certain extent, but when conversations with others in the car become heated or emotional, they can create a big distraction for the driver.
- Reading Maps or GPS Systems: Rather than pulling over to read a map or navigation system, some drivers insist that they can do this while the vehicle is moving.
- Viewing a Video: Yes, as crazy as it may seem, some drivers actually do watch videos while driving.
The NHTSA says that texting is the most dangerous driving distraction because it requires the driver to devote visual, manual and cognitive attention to the activity.
If you have been injured or someone close to you has been injured or killed as a result of a distracted driver accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or loss. But before speaking with the responsible party or their insurance company, contact an experienced Chicago distracted driving accidents attorney at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. for a free consultation. At HM&M, we have been helping victims of accidents involving distracted drivers for over 20 years. Our legal team thoroughly investigates the incident to prove the distracted driver’s negligence and secure full compensation for our clients. Call us today at 312-553-4900 to find out what we can do for you.