The dangers of distracted driving are deadly serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), roughly eight people die in the U.S. every day due to distracted driving accidents. In 2018 alone, about 400,000 accident-related injuries and more than 2,800 fatalities reportedly involved distracted drivers.
Distracted driving is defined as operating a vehicle while engaged in any other activity that prevents you from devoting your full attention to safe driving. Driving while distracted significantly increases your chances of being involved in a collision.
Types of Distractions
Any activity that takes your focus away from driving is a distraction, which means there are many different types of distractions. However, most driving distractions belong to one or more of the three following categories:
- Visual distractions – A visual distraction is anything that draws your eyes away from the road ahead. Visual stimuli that can distract drivers include cell phone messages, vehicle information displays, GPS data, and others on the road.
- Manual distractions – A manual distraction is anything that causes you to take your hands off of the steering wheel. Common manual distractions include texting or typing on a cell phone, holding food or drinks, personal grooming, and adjusting GPS or vehicle controls.
- Cognitive distractions – A cognitive distraction is anything that takes your mind off of the task of safe driving. Daydreaming is a common cognitive distraction, especially during long or congested drives. Road rage and conversations with passengers can also be cognitive distractions.
The CDC emphasizes that texting while driving is one of the most dangerous activities because it combines all three types of distraction. Reading or sending a text message requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention.
The average text message takes about five seconds to read or compose, which may not sound like much. However, five seconds is long enough to travel the length of a football field at just 55 miles per hour. Imagine what it would be like to do so with your eyes closed, and you’ll have an idea of the risks of texting and driving.
Injuries Caused by Distracted Driving
Distracted drivers cause thousands of injuries every year. If a distracted driver causes an accident after neglecting to apply their brakes or drifting into surrounding vehicles, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic.
Common distracted driving injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Back and spine injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial or total paralysis
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Abdominal injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Cuts, bruises, and burns
- Post-traumatic stress
Compensation for Distracted Driving Accidents
If you can establish that another driver’s distraction was a contributing factor in the crash, you could be entitled to compensation for the losses you incurred due to the accident. Typical compensation for distracted driving accident claims includes:
- Past and future medical care needed to treat your injuries
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of traveling to medical appointments
- Repair or replacement costs, if your vehicle or other property was damaged
- Lost wages and future earning potential, if your injuries prevent you from returning to your usual job
- Pain, suffering, and losses in your overall quality of life
- Punitive damages, which are awarded only in rare cases involving extremely negligent or intentionally malicious drivers
How a New York Personal Injury Lawyer Could Help
If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, let The Mandel Law Firm fight for the justice you deserve while you focus on your health. Our knowledgeable New York car accident attorneys are here to answer all of your most important questions in a free, personalized consultation. Call us at (646) 779-1441 or contact us online today to learn more.