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Wilmington 302-427-9500 Bear 302-834-8484 Milford 302-422-6705
Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

One of the most common causes of car accidents is distracted driving. For many drivers, trying to multitask while operating their vehicle happens daily. This risky driving behavior puts the lives of the drivers, their passengers, people in other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians in danger. Individuals injured in car accidents caused by distracted driving often have a legal right to compensation for their injuries.

Types of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving occurs any time a driver loses sight or focus on the road ahead or becomes mentally engaged in another task. Multitasking places additional stress on the brain, often leading to cognitive errors and brain overload.  The brain is not designed to switch focus, which inevitably slows down reaction time while driving.

Engaging in any of the following activities can result in distracted driving:

  • Talking, texting, playing games, or using social media on a cell phone
  • Using in-vehicle technologies, including touch screen menus and GPS systems
  • Taking photographs
  • Adjusting the radio by changing stations or inserting CDs into car stereo systems
  • Eating or drinking
  • Personal grooming, including applying makeup, fixing hair, and shaving
  • Reading a newspaper or book
  • Turning around to talk to people in the backseat
  • Addressing the needs of children in the backseat
  • Interacting with pets

Performing any of these activities while driving can result in dangerous driving behaviors by looking away from the road, removing one’s hands from the steering wheel, and thinking about other things when driving. These three types of distractions can have fatal consequences.

Dangers of Hands-Free Devices

Engaging in a distracting activity can cause drivers to experience inattentional blindness, resulting in a failure to see dangers on the road. With hands-free devices, including headsets that communicate wirelessly and devices that use voice-activated dialing or texting, dangerous cognitive distractions often occur. Drivers who use hand- free devices can experience a sensation of looking at but not seeing objects right in front of them. An inability to process visual information makes distracted drivers unable to properly evaluate driving conditions.

Technological Distractions

New technology provides many potential sources of distracted driving. In-vehicle interactive technology places visual and mental demands on drivers that increase the risk of distraction. Common in-vehicle technologies that lead to distracted driving include:

  • Touch screen technology
  • Voice command systems
  • Navigational programming aids
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto by Google
  • Multi-choice menu systems
  • Other infotainment systems

Research shows high cognitive demands result from both smartphone-based systems and manufacturer installed in-vehicle interactive technology.

Increased Risk of Accidents

Studies show distracted driving significantly increases the risk of motor vehicle crashes. Over 1,000 injuries occur each day as a result of distracted driving. National Safety Council data indicates an accident is four times more likely when  driving while talking on a cell phone. Car accidents can result in serious bodily injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding, damage to internal organs, concussions or other traumatic brain injuries, back sprains, and other temporary or permanent disabilities. Dealing with the financial aftermath of a motor vehicle collision caused by distracted driving can be overwhelming as injured individuals face expenses related to medical treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitation, occupational and physical therapy, or x-rays. Holding responsible parties liable by filing a distracted driving civil lawsuit is one way to obtain compensation for medical expenses, as well as lost wages and pain and suffering.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by distracted driving, the experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you obtain the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. With offices conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. To schedule a free confidential consultation, call us at 302-427-9500 or submit an online inquiry form.


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