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Can a Distracted Driver Be Held Responsible for a Car Accident?

 Posted on June 16, 2023 in Car Accidents

Joliet Distracted Driving Accident LawyerDriving is a daily activity for most Americans, but unfortunately, the familiar routines people follow can put them at risk of being involved in car accidents. When people drive on the same roads or in the same areas every day, they may fail to fully pay attention to traffic and what is happening around them. They may become tempted to engage in other activities while driving, or they may let their minds wander, causing them to miss important details. Despite laws that prohibit the use of cell phones or other electronic devices by people who are in control of motor vehicles, distracted driving is still very common, and it can lead to serious accidents that may cause injuries to others. People who have been injured by distracted drivers will need to understand the steps they can take to address the damages they have suffered.

Addressing Different Types of Distracted Driving

To ensure that they will be able to remain in control of their vehicle, respond to changing conditions on the road, and avoid accidents, drivers should always be fully engaged in the act of driving. They must be able to pay attention to the road, remain in control of their vehicle, and respond to other vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians, bicycles, weather conditions, obstacles in the road, or anything else that could affect them.

Unfortunately, there are numerous distractions that can affect drivers and limit their ability to drive safely. These distractions may include:

  • Manual distractions - While drivers are not required to keep both hands on the wheel at all times, doing so can ensure that they will have the best possible control of their vehicle. A person who removes one or both hands from the wheel in order to engage in other activities, such as eating and drinking, adjusting the radio, or reaching for objects in the vehicle, will be more likely to lose control and cause an accident.

  • Visual distractions - Drivers will not be able to see everything around them at all times, so they need to make an effort to watch the road, be aware of nearby vehicles, check their mirrors and blind spots, and pay attention to what is happening around them. Looking away from the road to view the screen of a cell phone, look at themselves in the mirror, or check on children in the back seat can cause a driver to miss important details, and they may be unable to avoid a collision.

  • Mental distractions - Despite beliefs about the ability of humans to multitask, dividing one's attention between multiple activities can be very dangerous for drivers. Anything that takes a person's mind away from driving may affect their ability to notice and respond to dangerous issues. Even having a phone conversation with a hands-free device can limit a driver's ability to fully see the road around them and act in time to avoid an accident.

There are multiple forms of evidence that may be used to ensure that distracted drivers can be held liable for causing accidents. Police reports can establish fault for a collision, and witnesses may provide testimony that they observed a person talking or texting on their phone immediately before an accident. Footage from security cameras or traffic cameras may also show that a driver was acting negligently, and it may even be possible to obtain cell phone records to show that a person was making a call or sending a text message at the time of the collision. A personal injury attorney can help car accident victims determine the best ways to demonstrate liability and ensure that a driver can be held responsible for causing them to suffer harm.

Contact Our Will County Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys

If a distracted driver was at fault for a collision in which you were a driver or passenger, it is essential to understand your legal options as you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. At McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC, our Joliet distracted driving accident lawyers can help you hold a negligent driver accountable for their actions. Contact our office at 815-727-0100 to set up a free consultation today.





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