According to an article by Nexstar, while driving deaths went down in 2020 due to COVID-19 restricting most people from leaving home, one category of dangerous driving rose: distracted driving. Texas ranked number 13th on a list of the Nation’s Highest Distracted Driving Death rates with the worst drivers based on the number of fatal car accidents.
Even though people were driving less, an analysis by MoneyGeek a 12% increase in fatalities attributed to distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, there were 3,142 people killed in crashes caused by distracted driving.
The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity diverting attention” while behind the wheel. That includes eating, talking, and messing with your G.P.S. But the organization says texting and driving is the most “alarming” form of distracted driving because it takes your eyes off the road for several seconds.
“Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed,” explains the NHTSA.
HOW STATES WITH THE ‘WORST DRIVERS’ WERE RANKED
The NHTSA used data on distracted driving to determine which states have the biggest problem with fatal accidents and highway usage data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to determine how much-distracted driving is happening per mile driven.
The NHTSA data showed these states had the highest distracted driving fatality rates:
- New Mexico
- New Jersey
The best places for distracted driving, with the fewest related fatalities, were:
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
If you are involved in a collision with a driver who was distracted, you might feel confident that you’re owed compensation from them. If the driver was texting, talking on the phone, eating or drinking, or doing anything to divert their full attention from the road, you might be eligible to seek compensation from them.
Unfortunately, the other driver might not be willing to admit that they were distracted. The at-fault driver might try to avoid responsibility for the crash and may even attempt to blame you for the crash.
HIT BY A DISTRACTED DRIVER?
If you were involved in a car accident that a distracted driver may have caused, turn to the attorneys of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., for help. For decades, our firm has fought to protect the rights of injured accident victims in south Texas. Our attorneys aggressively pursue financial compensation for our clients from at-fault parties and their insurance companies.
We have offices in Brownsville, Corpus Christi, McAllen, Houston, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, along with a bilingual Spanish– and English-speaking staff to assist you. Call or contact our firm today for a free initial case evaluation to learn more about the process of pursuing a distracted driving accident claim in Brownsville. We’ll put our experience to work for you.
ANALYZE THE SCENE OF THE CAR ACCIDENT
In some instances, the other driver in car accidents will admit they were distracted or make statements that strongly suggest that inattention contributed to the accident.
However, the driver might not admit that they were not paying attention. Your lawyer may investigate the accident and seek evidence to prove the other driver was distracted. When you contact Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., from the scene of a serious car accident, we can dispatch our Accident Investigative Team to gather and preserve critical evidence from the car accident.
Analyzing the scene of a distracted driving accident usually begins with taking photos and videos of the accident. When taking pictures of the other driver’s vehicle, you may capture something that indicates the driver may have been distracted at the time of the car accident, such as half-eaten food drinks on the passenger seat.
Investigating a crash scene can also involve talking to bystanders who witnessed the crash. An eyewitness may have seen the other driver talking on a cell phone or grooming themselves in the mirror in the moments leading up to the collision.
Nearby surveillance or traffic cameras might have recorded the accident and captured images of the driver engaging in distracted driving behaviors. Traffic camera footage may be a resource to prove your case, depending on the time. That makes it important to seek the help of an attorney as soon as possible before evidence is lost.
LIST OF EVIDENCE TO GATHER TO PROVE DISTRACTED DRIVING
Fortunately, you can collect evidence at the accident scene and afterward to help prove the other driver was distracted and they caused the accident. At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our car accident attorneys will seek evidence such as:
- Accident scene photos—Photos may reveal evidence inside the other driver’s vehicle that indicates the driver was distracted. Photos showing the lack of skid marks on the road may tell that the other driver was distracted and did not attempt to brake or avoid the collision.
- Police accident reports—The law enforcement officer’s investigation report may indicate that the other driver may have been distracted at the crash. The investigating officer may offer an opinion that the accident happened due to the driver being distracted. An officer’s determination of the cause of the accident often serves as persuasive evidence given the training and experience of law enforcement officers in traffic accident investigation.
- Surveillance camera—Traffic cam or dashcam footage may provide concrete video evidence that the other driver was not paying attention in the moments before the crash.
- Eyewitness statements—Bystanders may testify to seeing the other driver on a cell phone or other distracting activity before the accident.
- Phone records—Phone records can show when text messages and calls were sent and received. Our attorneys can subpoena a driver’s phone records. If the driver sent or received a message or call moments before the accident, it strongly indicates that their attention may not have been on the road when the crash occurred.
- Cell phone data—Data from the phone itself can show when a phone screen is active and what apps are used.
- Social media posts—The timestamps on a driver’s social media posts may show that the driver was active on social media before a crash and may have been distracted by using a phone.
- Vehicle data—Newer vehicles have “black box” data recorders that collect detailed information about the vehicle’s operation, including acceleration, braking, and steering inputs. If necessary, we can download and analyze this information as a thorough distracted accident investigation.
In some instances, we may hire accident reconstruction experts to testify how the evidence shows the other driver was distracted before the collision and how they caused the accident.
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ABOUT HERRMAN AND HERRMAN PLLC
With over 100 years of combined experience among the legal team of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our Texas personal attorneys have successfully resolved over 20,000 cases. When representing injured Texas residents, we fight for justice against wrongdoing and aggressively pursue the best resolution to complex personal injury claims.
We remain by our clients’ side, handling all aspects of their claims and attending to all legal, medical and financial needs. That dedication is combined with experience, legal knowledge, and insight from a former insurance adjuster and several former insurance defense attorneys. Whether our clients are suffering from physical pain from an accident or the emotional grief of death, we treat clients with compassion. We put their mind at ease during difficult times by answering their questions concerning the length of their claim, medical bills, financial compensation and their overall need for a lawyer.
Start the road to recovery by contacting us for a free consultation and case evaluation.