What Is Distracted Driving?
When we are driving, we have a responsibility to operate our vehicles safely and to pay attention to the road. However, some drivers can refrain from giving their full attention to the road – which can increase the likelihood of a serious accident. Thousands of people suffer severe injuries or die as a result of distracted driving, but the practice is still all-too-common on Nevada roads. If you’ve been injured due to distracted driving, a Las Vegas texting and driving accident lawyer can help.
The Three Types of Distracted Driving
You may think of texting and driving when you hear the term “distracted driving,” but the reality is that this behavior can occur in a number of ways. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify three main types of distracted driving.
- Visual distraction occurs when you take your eyes off the road while driving. This can involve reading a text message on your phone, looking at your GPS, or turning your head to look at the passengers in the backseat.
- Cognitive distraction involves any activity that takes your mind off of the act of driving. This can involve carrying a phone conversation with someone over your car’s speaker system or Bluetooth, spacing out, driving while you are overly tired, or listening to a podcast or audiobook.
- Manual distraction occurs when you take your hands off the wheel. For example, sending a text message, fiddling with your car’s control system or GPS, eating or drinking, and applying makeup can all constitute manual distraction while driving.
Oftentimes, distracted driving behaviors involve all three types of distraction. For example, reading and sending a text message takes your eyes off the road to look at your phone screen, your hands off the wheel to type a message, and your mind off of driving as you craft a response.
These behaviors may seem harmless while you’re behind the wheel, but the facts still stand: distracted driving is incredibly dangerous. According to the CDC, reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds – if you’re driving at 55 miles per hour, you just drove the entire length of a football field without looking. The roads are rarely as clear as an empty football field, and you can collide with another vehicle or pedestrian easily.
Proving Distracted Driving Claims in Nevada
Whether you are filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible for your injuries, you will need to prove that the driver was at-fault in your accident. To do so, you and your attorney will need to provide evidence to support the following four elements.
- First, you need to prove that the driver in question had a duty of care to you. Proving the duty of care with car accident cases is relatively straightforward. All drivers have a responsibility to drive safely and to follow all traffic laws and owe a duty of care to other drivers to satisfy these requirements.
- Second, you need to show that the driver breached his or her duty of care – namely, through the act of distracted driving. You and your attorney will need to perform an investigation into the cause of the accident to prove this element. Your lawyer may examine surveillance footage, interview witnesses and police officers, or
- Third, you will need to show that the breach of duty of care led to the accident that caused your injuries. You can prove this claim by conducting the same in-depth investigation and the examination of multiple pieces of evidence to satisfy the second element. For example, traffic cam footage that shows a driver on his or her phone running a red light and colliding with you can satisfy both elements
- And fourth, you will need to prove that you suffered damages that you can claim through your lawsuit or claim. These can include medical expenses, property damage, emotional pain and suffering, and lost wages during your recovery.
If you are in an accident with a distracted driver, you may experience severe injuries, deal with significant financial damage, and need to cope with the emotional aftermath. In these situations, you have the right to collect compensation for your damages – but you need a Nevada car accident attorney on your side to help you through this process. If you have not done so already, contact your lawyer as soon as possible to begin your claim.
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