Distracted driving is a major cause of road accidents. Every year, more than thousands of Americans are killed and injured as a result of distracted driving. A distracted driver is one who has shifted their focus from operating the motor vehicle to some non-essential task or process. One or more distractions reduce the driver’s situational awareness and impair their ability to drive safely under the prevailing conditions. There are many types of distractions affecting motorists.
Many drivers, especially younger ones, focus on their mobile devices and other electronics while driving. This increasingly prevalent habit is extremely dangerous to themselves and everybody else on the road. In addition, modern vehicles across now often have complex audio systems and information/entertainment screen displays. These can easily distract drivers, even if they are merely looking at their GPS system to see where their next turn might be.
Electronics are not the only things diverting motorists’ attention. Many people lose focus by having intense conversations with passengers, eating in the car, reading or putting on makeup while the vehicle is in motion. All of these driver distractions can be just as dangerous as those associated with modern gadgets.
New Jersey bans the use of handheld cell phones while driving. In addition to a traffic citation, a driver who violates the law can be held liable for damages caused in an accident. Even in locations without prohibitions on the use of handheld devices, a driver who was on their phone is very likely to be held liable for a collision. If you suspect that the motorist whose vehicle struck you was distracted in some way, a qualified car accident lawyer can outline how your allegation might be proven.
Sometimes evidence of distracted driving gets recorded. Cell phone records, vehicle cameras, traffic cameras and other devices can often provide clear and convincing evidence that a motor vehicle operator was engaged in something other driving. The evidence may be held by governmental authorities or private citizens. It can take time and significant effort to get the evidence, but an experienced attorney understands the best ways to secure key materials.
Other types of evidence may also be very valuable in developing a distracted driving lawsuit. Statements from eyewitnesses can be greatly useful, so it is important to identify and obtain contact information from anyone who witnesses an accident. Admissions from the distracted driver are also valuable to a plaintiff. Today people frequently over-share on social media, so it’s worthwhile to see if a distracted driver admitted something online. Police reports might also contain information about what led up to a crash.
Seigel Law in Ridgewood is one of the most highly respected personal injury law firms in North Jersey. If you or a family member has been injured in a vehicle accident, feel free to call 201-444-4000 or contact us online for a consultation.