One of the most famous distracted driving facts tells us that reading one text message at 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Yet despite the overwhelming evidence that distracted driving kills, motorists continue to engage in distracting behind-the-wheel activities at alarming rates.
If you were injured or a loved one suffered a wrongful death in a crash caused by a distracted driver, a Lexington distracted driving accident lawyer from Peterson Law Office is ready to meet with you. We specialize in complex Kentucky auto collisions involving motorist distraction. It is always our goal to win fair compensation for victims who were harmed through the wrongful actions of others.
Peterson Law Office is dedicated to the needs of our clients. We put the attorney-client relationship first because we know how much your financial, physical, and emotional wellbeing depends on the outcome of your case. Schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced attorney at Peterson Law Office to learn more about your legal options.
What Exactly Is Distracted Driving?
A distraction is any activity or object that takes your attention away from the all-important task of driving safely. Texting and driving is one of the most well-known examples of distracted driving. It’s also one of the most dangerous, as it encompasses all three types of distractions: manual, visual, and cognitive.
A manual distraction is something that takes your hands off the wheel and vehicle controls. Many people feel that they can safely navigate their car with one hand on the wheel and one hand on a cell phone. But statistics show that manually distracted drivers have slower reaction times and higher rates of collision.
Examples of manual distractions while driving include:
- Eating and drinking
- Applying makeup or personal grooming
- Cell phone use
- Adjusting the radio, music, podcast, or vehicle temperature controls
- Inputting an address into a global positioning system (GPS) while driving
- Reaching for objects on the floor or backseat of the car
Your ability to see clearly and watch for danger is one of your most vital assets as a driver. When a motorist is visually distracted, they are engaged in an activity that takes their eyes off the road. A visual distraction might be:
- Watching a video
- Reading a text message
- Looking at pictures
- Scrolling through social media
- Paying too much attention to a GPS, map, or directions
- Staring at passing scenery, other vehicles, or an accident scene outside the window
A cognitive distraction can be anything that takes your attention and focus away from operating your vehicle. There are many activities that can mentally distract drivers, such as:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Chatting with others in the vehicle
- Reading from a screen or book
- Arguing with a passenger or someone outside the car
- Road rage
- Engaging in thoughts about something other than driving
- Crying, feelings of anger, and other strong emotions
Kentucky Distracted Driving Laws
Driving while impaired by a distraction is not only dangerous, but it’s also against the law. Kentucky law prohibits all drivers, regardless of age, from reading, writing, or sending text messages while the vehicle is in motion. This law has been in place since 2010. There are also strict requirements for the use of handheld phones by school bus drivers and motorists under the age of 18.
There is never a good reason to text and drive. No matter how often you see drivers in other cars using mobile devices, you can be the one to make the smart choice. Pull over in a safe area before reading or sending a text message.
Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
The following statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) give us an idea of the prevalence of driver distraction across the nation:
- Distracted driving caused 3,142 deaths in 2020
- 324,652 people were injured in crashes caused by distraction in 2020
- 587 pedestrians and bicyclists were struck and killed by distracted drivers in 2020
- 13% of all crashes reported in 2020 involved at least one driver impaired by a distraction
What Compensation Can You Recover After a Distracted Motorist Crash?
One of the things you should discuss during your free consultation with a lawyer is the compensation you may be entitled to receive. Compensation in a civil case is generally divided into two categories:
In personal injury cases like auto collisions, victims may seek to recover compensation for the financial losses resulting from the other driver’s negligence. This may include:
- Post-accident medical bills
- Ongoing medical expenses for follow-up doctor appointments or physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income after diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
Not every loss associated with a car wreck comes with a bill. These damages are the less tangible, non-financial losses stemming from wrongdoing committed by other drivers. In a Lexington, KY distracted driving case, you may be entitled to damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
The damages you are eligible to recover will depend on the circumstances of your case. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer from our firm to discuss how we can help you hold the other driver accountable for your losses.
What Evidence Can You Use To Prove the Other Driver Was Distracted?
Through our experience, we know that very few at-fault drivers are willing to admit they were texting and driving when they caused your accident. When we represent clients, we often need to be creative and resourceful to find the evidence needed to prove the other motorist was distracted. This might involve examining:
- The motorist’s phone records
- Dashcam footage
- Traffic or surveillance camera footage
- Eyewitness statements
- The testimony of expert witnesses
- The driver’s social media activity
- Emails or other electronic messages sent from the driver’s phone
- A police report made at the accident scene
Even if you suspect that distraction might have been a factor in your crash, it’s not always easy to prove without the help of an experienced attorney. When you meet with your lawyer during your initial free consultation, be sure to voice any concerns you have about the possibility that the at-fault driver was distracted. Your legal advocate will be able to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter on your behalf.
Find a Lexington Car Accident Lawyer With Experience Handling Distracted Driving Crashes
Not all car accident lawyers have the experience necessary to successfully handle collisions caused by distraction. Distracted driving law is one of the more unique legal practice areas, requiring deep knowledge of relevant laws, an ability to obtain evidence that is often hard to come by, and a commitment to achieving justice even when the insurance company plays hardball.
At Peterson Law Office, we believe no obstacle should stand between you and full financial recovery. We build every case on a firm attorney-client relationship, taking into consideration every way that your life has been affected by your injury. Learn what we can do for you during a free consultation at our Lexington office.