You may take pride in your driving skills. You may obey the laws, always drive sober and take no unnecessary chances while behind the wheel.
Paying attention to other drivers is also essential. Do you see someone using a cellphone or eating a sandwich? Is another driver reading? Remember that texting is only one form of distracted driving.
A little background
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, 3,477 people died across the country in vehicle crashes in which distracted driving was a factor. That year, 391,000 people were also injured in similar traffic accidents. Teens represented the age group most affected in terms of fatalities linked to distracted driving.
Reasons for concern
NHTSA research indicates that 660,000 drivers of all ages use their cellphones during daylight hours. However, motorists are not always texting, emailing or talking to someone. Distractions of every kind abound both outside the vehicle and inside. A driver could read a billboard or try to locate an address. He or she may reach down to retrieve something that dropped on the floor, fiddle with the radio or twist around to see what a child in the back seat is crying about. The few seconds in which a driver’s attention is off the road are all it takes for a devastating crash to occur.
Possible trouble ahead
While you cannot always see into another motorist’s car, some warning signs may indicate a distracted driver: sudden braking, a lengthy pause at an intersection or a vehicle that keeps drifting to the right or left.
What to do
Despite your excellent driving record, you could become the victim of a distracted driver. Explore your legal options without delay, as you are likely eligible for insurance compensation. If a distracted driver was responsible for the crash that resulted in your injuries, your advocate will make sure you receive a full and fair settlement.