Distracted Driving – A Growing Problem

May 15, 2013 | Blog

texting while driving Distracted driving is a growing problem, largely due to the growing popularity and use of cell phones and other mobile devices. Because distracted drivers are not fully paying attention to the road, the risk of a car accident increases significantly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 9 people are killed every day in crashes that involve a distracted driver, and an addition 1,060 are injured. According to the CDC, are three types of distracted driving:

  • Visual: any distraction that takes a driver’s attention from the road can create a visual distraction;
  • Manual: distractions that take your hands off the wheel, such as searching for an item that has fallen, or using the radio or a GPS device, constitute a manual distraction;
  • Cognitive: distractions that take your mind off of driving, such as having a conversation or looking at a map, are cognitive distractions.

Texting is a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving, as it distracts a driver in all three ways. When you text, you are generally looking at the phone, using a hand to type your message, and also thinking about what you are typing. In addition, texting is growing generally, with the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration reporting that the number of texts sent increased by 50% between June 2009 and June 2011.

Texting while driving is extremely dangerous, with at least one study indicating that is creates a crash risk 23 times greater than when a person is not distracted. As a result, many states have enacted laws that ban texting and driving in an effort to reduce the risk of serious injury that can result from crashes caused by distracted driving. Under Indiana law, you may not type, transmit, or read a text message or email while operating a motor vehicle. The statute allows exceptions for people who do so using hands free or voice operated technology, and also for using a device to call 911 in the event of an emergency.

Accidents caused by distracted driving often involve driver negligence, which could be the basis for recovery through and Indiana personal injury lawsuit. Violating the texting while driving law is negligence per se, meaning that the very act gives rise to a presumption of negligence. In addition, even if you were partially at fault for an accident, you still may be able to recover. An experienced car accident lawyer in Indianapolis can help you determine whether you have a case, and if so, against whom.

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