In the era of the iPhone, distracted driving accidents have unfortunately become all-too common on the Charlottesville roads. While drivers have always experienced in-vehicle distractions such as screaming children in the backseat, fast food, makeup application, and map viewing, smart phones have led to a whole new form of driver distraction. Distracted driving accidents occur all throughout the country, and Virginia is not immune to these high rates of distractions.
Distracted driving includes the following distractions:
- Cell phone use
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Makeup application
- Reading maps
- Using a navigation system
- Adjusting CD player, radio, MP3 player, or Bluetooth settings
In 2012, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that around 420,000 people were injured in car accidents involving a distracted driver (1). Additionally, ten percent of the total number of fatal accidents involving drivers under the age of 20 were due to distraction. Distracted driving has become a dangerous road hazard with the prevalence of texting while driving. Many states have attempted to diminish these high statistics by implementing laws which ban cell phone use on the roads.
In Virginia alone, about 8 out of every 10 car accidents are due to distracted driving (2). The state of Virginia has tried to crack down on texting while driving through the implementation of a new law that upped the fine for texting while driving. However, the law only impacts drivers who are texting and does not cover drivers who are typing on their smartphone to use GPS navigation systems or look up a number in their phone book. Therefore, many drivers are able to get out of a fine by stating that they were not texting but were instead using their phone for another purpose.
The Impact of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving accidents can lead to severe injuries. Many distracted driving accidents occur during the day, although they can occur at any point. Depending on the severity of the accident, a victim could face broken bones, concussions, burns, amputation, and severe head/neck injuries. The insurance company of the distracted driver may attempt to quickly settle with the victim to ensure that the payout for any damages is minimal. However, as the victim of a distracted driving accident, you are entitled to damages for your injuries, hospital stay, rehabilitative care, lost wages, future earnings, and even noneconomic damages such as mental anguish and pain and suffering.
MichieHamlett | Charlottesville, Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been the victim of any accident caused by distracted driving, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of MichieHamlett. Our attorneys have been representing clients in personal injury cases for over 65 years throughout the state of Virginia. Our attorneys understand the costs associated with injuries from accidents and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our Charlottesville office today for your initial free consultation. Our attorneys will accept a distracted driving case on a contingency basis, which means that you do not have to pay our attorneys any fees until you are paid by the distracted driver.