As cell phones continue to change and become more popular to use while in the car, the danger of distracted drivers increases each year. New laws have been passed in Washington to help prevent further deaths and injuries, but they continue to happen nonetheless.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a distracted driver, contact an experienced Washington personal injury attorney to get the financial compensation you deserve. You do not have to face the legal process on your own.
Distracted Driving: Three Types
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are three parts of distracted driving.
This includes any time a driver takes his or her hands from the wheel to do something else. This could include
- cell phone use,
- fiddling with the radio,
- caring for children in the car, or
- eating food while driving.
A cognitive distraction is something that causes a driver to lose focus. This can be intermingled with the other forms of distractions but also includes
- feelings of illness (including a headache or nausea),
- distracted thoughts, or
- emotional responses to other events (i.e., a breakup).
Visual distractions are any time a driver takes his or her eyes off of the road. This could be caused by
- cell phone use,
- distracting lights (i.e., police lights),
- advertisements, or
- pedestrian activity.
Cell Phone Use: The Most Common Cause of Accidents
Driver use of cell phones is the most common cause of distracted driving-related accidents. It distracts under all three of the categories defined by the NHTSA. The Washington Transportation Safety Committee has found that over 70% of drivers use their cell phones while driving to various degrees. Cell phones are commonly used while driving to make phone calls, text, watch videos, search the internet, play music, or use a GPS system.
Are Drivers Allowed to Use a Cell Phone While Driving?
Drivers may not use a handheld cell phone while driving while in Washington. Using a cell phone without a hands-free device is prohibited in most circumstances, except for emergencies (911), "minimal finger use" (i.e., quick use of GPS), and using built-in hands-free device systems.
Violation of the law is considered a traffic offense, and drivers can be fined for driving while using a cell phone.
Personal Injury Cases from Distracted Drivers
Distracted drivers are often the cause of vehicle accidents which can result in serious injuries. When those injuries are caused by a distracted driver's negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain financial compensation for
- medical bills,
- lost wages,
- lost earning potential, and
- pain and suffering.
Evidence of the driver's distraction can be used to prove that the driver was negligent and that that negligence caused your injuries.
Consult a Washington Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been in an accident because of a distracted driver, you need an experienced attorney who understands the personal injury process and how to effectively prove that another person caused you harm.
Experienced personal injury attorney Quinn Posner represents clients in Camas, Washougal, Vancouver, and the rest of Clark County. Contact Quinn Posner today to schedule a free consultation.