Talk to an experienced car accident lawyer if you were injured by a distracted driver
Distracted driving is a serious problem in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and communities throughout the United States.
How big of a problem? The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) estimates that 25 to 30 percent of fatal crashes involve distracted driving. That would translate to an estimated 11,500 to 13,800 deaths every year. And more than 325,000 suffer serious injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
What is distracted driving?
One of the biggest distractions is texting or using the phone behind the wheel – but there are others.
"Talking and texting on cell phones, while the most talked-about cause of driver distraction, is not the only thing that can distract a driver," said Michelle Anderson, NSRF Director of Operations.
Anderson cited other behaviors that seem harmless but can take a driver's eyes and mind off the road. These include:
- Tuning the radio
- Adjusting a GPS
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
Anderson notes that it's essential to be aware of what creates driver distractions and to remember that "drivers should always keep their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and their mind on the task of driving."
Reducing distracted driving behaviors
Both parents and passengers play a role in putting an end to distracted driving, she says.
"Young people pattern their behavior on what they see their parents and other adults do, so it's up to us to set the right example," says Anderson. And passengers should not be afraid to intervene, she adds.
"It's important that passengers speak up, perhaps offering to make or take the call or send the text message for the driver if he or she feels it just can't wait," she says.
The NSRF website offers a free, downloadable tool called "Am I Distracted?" that allows drivers to assess their driving behaviors.
There are three main types of distracted driving. Manual distractions take a driver's hands off of the wheel. Visual distractions take a driver's eyes off the road. And cognitive distractions take a driver's mind off of the task of driving.
Any of these behaviors can lead to a crash that leaves people seriously hurt. Victims can be left with injuries to the neck or back, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or spinal cord injuries. They may need surgery, hospitalization, medication, physical therapy, and multiple follow-up appointments with doctors. Medical expenses can become overwhelming.
An attorney can fight for your rights
But recovering financial compensation for injuries from an accident caused by a distracted driver can be complicated. Drivers often deny they were distracted. Insurance companies use different tactics to try to minimize your claim. They may dispute the seriousness of your injuries or make a lowball settlement offer.
What can you do when the insurance companies won't give you fair compensation? You can talk to an experienced Oklahoma car accident lawyer.
Lawter & Associates has been fighting insurance companies on behalf of the injured for decades. We know how to investigate accidents to prove a driver was distracted. Our attorneys build strong cases and can negotiate a settlement that meets your needs – or fight for you in court.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, getting legal advice as soon as possible is important. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We can review the details of your accident, discuss your legal options for recovering compensation, and answer any questions you have.