Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Anne Arundel County
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over eight people are killed and another 1,161 are injured every day in distracted driving–related car accidents in the United States. Distracted driving accidents are caused by any type of activity that takes a driver’s attention off the road where it belongs. While common distractions include putting on makeup, reaching for something in the back seat, and eating while driving, one of the leading causes of distracted driving crashes affecting today’s drivers is the use of cell phones, which includes talking and texting while driving. Whatever the distraction, it only takes a matter of seconds for a serious accident to occur, putting all drivers and pedestrians in the vicinity in danger of being seriously injured or killed in a wreck.
Main Distraction Categories
The three types of distractions include:
- Cognitive: anything that affects concentration, taking the driver’s mind off the task of driving
- Manual: anything that causes a driver to take his or her hands off the wheel
- Visual: anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road
Examples of Potentially Dangerous Distractions
In addition to the examples mentioned above, the following are common driver distractions that affect an individual’s ability to focus his or her attention on the road. Any of these activities will be considered if there is a car accident, and the distracted driver may be liable for any injuries or property damage.
- Adjusting the radio
- Checking the GPS
- Disciplining children
- Talking to other passengers in the vehicles
- Watching a video
Common Risk Factors
Certain activities tend to distract drivers’ attention from the road more than others, and for longer periods of time. For example, if an individual is driving at 55 mph, the average time to read a text will take his or her eyes off the road long enough to travel the length of a football field. Young drivers under the age of 20 are more likely than any other age group to be involved in fatal crashes related to distracted driving. The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), which monitors health-risk behaviors among high school students, found the following to be true:
- In 2013, over two out of five students surveyed reported that they sent a text or an email while driving during the past 30 days
- Of the respondents who said that they text while driving, they were almost twice as likely to accept a ride with someone who has been drinking
- Respondents who text while driving on a regular basis were more likely to drink and drive, or accept a ride with someone who has been drinking, than students who said that they text less frequently
Distracted Driving Laws
Many states, including Maryland, prohibit all drivers from texting and using a cellphone while operating a vehicle. These laws also forbid the use of electronic devices for emailing, browsing the internet, social media, and other smart phone apps. Despite these laws, distracted driving wrecks continue to occur at an alarming rate. If the collision occurred because a driver was texting or talking on the phone, the phone may be used as evidence to prove negligence or recklessness. In some cases, even the person who was hit may be considered partly responsible if he or she was using a mobile device at the time of the accident. The use of the cell phone could be considered “contributory” or “comparative” negligence. If this is the case, victims can potentially be barred from recovering any damages at all.
In addition to traffic tickets, distracted driving car accidents can result in legal action if the victim decides to sue for negligence. An experienced car accident lawyer can help determine the best legal course of action, ensuring that victims’ rights are protected along the way.
Anne Arundel County Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Distracted Driving
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident involving a distracted driver, you are urged to contact the highly reputable Anne Arundel car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Our team is committed to reaching the best possible outcome, and we will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, which includes the towns of Annapolis Neck, Arden on the Severn, Arnold, Brooklyn Park, Cape Saint Claire, Crofton, Crownsville, Deale, Edgewater, Ferndale, Fort Meade, Friendship, Galesville, Gambrills, Glen Burnie, Herald Harbor, Jessup, Lake Shore, Linthicum, Maryland City, Mayo, Naval Academy, Odenton, Parole, Pasadena, Pumphrey, Riva, Riviera Beach, Severn, Severna Park and Shady Side.