Any time a person takes his or her eyes off the road, they’re putting themselves and other drivers at risk. Distracted driving occurs when a driver is paying attention to something else—limiting their ability to focus on what’s happening on the road. This could include eating, talking on the phone, sending a text message, or getting into a heated argument with someone else.
Drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles in a safe manner. When they are not focused on the roadway, that creates an opportunity for an accident to occur. As a result of their distraction, you may be injured in an accident.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving?
Some of the most common causes of distracted driving include:
- Talking and texting
- Using a GPS system
- Applying makeup
- Managing pets or children
- Talking to passengers
- Smoking-related causes
- Using controls such as the radio
Most people can say they’ve engaged in at least a few of these distractions while driving. Yet, doing so can put others at risk because their full attention is not on the road, the cars around them, or the changing conditions.
What Risks Are There to Distracted Driving?
Distraction on the road is dangerous. During 2017, it caused 3,166 deaths on U.S. roadways, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thousands of others suffered catastrophic injuries.
With limited time to react, such as swerve out of the way of traffic or to manage slipping on wet roadways, accidents occur. Sometimes a driver will drift into another lane, hitting another driver. Any time this occurs, it can lead to injuries and death. Many of these incidents happen at high speeds, such as on freeways. That can make the risks of an accident even more profound.
What Are Nebraska’s Distracted Driving Laws?
Nebraska’s distracted driving laws are comprehensive. They limit all use of text messaging while driving. For those that operate a school bus or a commercial vehicle, any type of talking and texting on a mobile phone is illegal. There are exceptions to this, including using a device to communicate with law enforcement, using GPS or navigation systems, or using hands-free devices for calls.
What Are Iowa’s Distracted Driving Laws?
Iowa’s laws ban all electronic messaging, including texting, while driving. The law doesn’t make talking on the phone specifically illegal as long as they are not using a hand-held device to do so. Exemptions to this law include healthcare professionals responding to emergencies, public safety drivers performing work-related duties, or those receiving safety-related information on weather, traffic, or emergency situations.
How Do You Know If You’ve Been Hurt by a Distracted Driver?
It’s very difficult to know if an accident is caused by distracted driving. Police officers may determine this at the time of the incident if there’s evidence to support it. Witness statements, cameras, and your description of what happened can also help police to make this decision. If possible, take photos at the scene that help to prove what you saw, such as food wrappers on the seat.
How Can You Protect Your Recovery After an Accident?
Even if you are unsure if the driver was distracted in any way, you should seek legal representation to prove your case. Your attorney can help you to gather key information to make these decisions. In some cases of serious damage and injury, your attorney may be able to secure the phone records of the other driver. This could help prove they were using the phone at the time of the accident.
Every case is different. By working with a car accident attorney, you can ensure you take every step possible to protect your right to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, associated property damage, and pain and suffering.
Find out what your legal rights are by contacting the Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop, PC, LLO. Chat with us online for immediate help or to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.