Distracted driving is increasingly becoming one of the biggest problems on the road and the cause of many serious car accidents, including fatal car accidents. Per a recent study by Zendrive, Massachusetts drivers are among the most distracted.
One thing to keep in mind is that it is hard to quantify distracted driving accidents the way you can with drunk driving accidents. When an officer approaches a driver at a drunk driving crash, it is usually readily apparent that the person was at the very least drinking alcoholic beverages. This is because alcoholic beverages often give off a strong odor that we think of as the smell of alcohol. The reason we say think of as alcohol is because, as courts have noted, alcohol (ethanol) is a colorless and odorless liquid, but it is the flavors of alcohol (scotch, gin, beer for example) that actually emit the odor we often call alcohol.However, as our Boston car accident lawyers can explain, there are various ways to prove a person was engaged in distracted driving and is negligent in connection with a civil lawsuit. Sadly, it has become commonplace for people to read or send text messages while driving. This is one of the most dangerous things a person can do while driving.
This reason for this is because texts involves multiple levels of distraction at the same time. First, in order to read a text message, the driver must take his or her eyes off the road. This by itself can cause a major traffic accident resulting in serious personal injury, as it only takes a split second of not looking at the road to end up on a crash. However, there are also a variety of mental distractions. A person must comprehend what they are reading and interpret the message. They are then thinking about the message and how to respond. If they respond, they are taking their eyes off the road for an extended period of time.
While people often say that multitasking is a good thing, this is not the case when behind the wheel of a car weighing 2,000 or more pounds and traveling at a high rate of speed. Part of the problem people may not realize is that they are already engaged in multitasking simply by driving without engaging in any additional distractions. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers driving a divided attention activity.
This means that a driver is responsible for performing a variety of physical actions and mental calculations at the same time. This divides the driver’s attention, but in order to drive safely, he or she must perform all of these functions at the required time.
While a person may not admit he or she was texting while behind the wheel, your Boston car accident attorney may be able to subpoena defendant’s cell phone records to show that defendant was in fact texting while driving. There are also ways to get data from a phone as part of the discovery process during litigation, and this may show what defendant was doing prior to the accident. Even if they choose to lie, there may be an electronic record to use as evidence at trial or during settlement discussions.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.
Largest Distracted Driving Behavior Study, By Noah Budnick, Zendrive
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