Distracted Driving Accidents: How You can Prevent Them

Distracted Driving Accidents: What Causes Them & How You can Prevent Them

Last updated Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Distracted Driving Accidents: What Causes Them & How You can Prevent Them

The term ‘distracted driving’ simply means doing something else that takes your attention away from driving, whether it’s changing the radio station, talking to your kids, eating or putting on makeup. Distracted driving accidents are a serious and ongoing problem, especially in recent years with the explosion of mobile phones and the phenomenon of texting while driving.

Distracted Driving Accidents Are Common

Accidents related to a distracted driver are a common cause of death and injury in the U.S. Every day approximately 8 people are killed and 1,160 injured in vehicle crashes that involved a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The three types of distracted driving include:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: letting your mind wander from driving

Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it involves all three functions—taking your eyes off the road, taking your hands off the wheel, and thinking about the message rather than driving.

4 Facts About Distracted Driving

distracted driving

Nearly one in five crashes with injuries were as a result of distracted driving. Many personal injury lawsuits involve distracted driving, with plaintiffs often recovering significant damages if the other party is proven to have been texting or otherwise distracted when the accident occurred.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that more than 3,150 people were killed and about 424,000 people injured in distracted-driving-related motor vehicle accidents in 2015. Consider these facts about distracted driving:

1. Texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distraction. It takes the driver’s attention away from the road for longer periods than other sources of distraction.

2. If you’re traveling at 55 mph, in the time it takes to read a text, you will have covered the distance of a football field.

3. Drivers under the age of 20 make up the largest demographic in distraction-related fatal automobile accidents.

4. Nearly a third of all drivers 18-64 have said that they texted or read emails while driving.

Driving while texting, applying makeup, or fiddling with the radio is dangerous. It’s also a good way for an experienced personal injury attorney to prove negligence and recover damages in a civil lawsuit.

Preventing Distracted Driving

Many states, including Illinois, have enacted laws banning activities like texting while driving. Illinois has gone further, banning the use of all hand-held devices while driving. Hands-free technology such as Bluetooth and headsets are still permitted. Cell phone use is not permitted while driving in school zones, highway construction zones, and for novice drivers.

To prevent becoming distracted while driving, do the following:

  • Pull over to a safe place to talk on the phone, send a text message, or send an email.
  • Know how your climate controls, sound systems, and other devices work. Never take your eyes off the road to adjust these things. If you must make adjustments, do so by touch.
  • Never adjust your seat while driving. Rather pull over to a safe place if you need to adjust your seat height or distance from the pedals.
  • Avoid eating, drinking, and smoking while driving. Never groom, apply makeup, or try to read or write while driving.
  • Pull over for children. If your kids are arguing, crying, or hungry, pull over to tend to their needs. Interaction with kids is a leading cause of distraction.

10 Tips For Driving Safely Especially In Chicago Winters

driving safely

Motorists hitting the highways around Chicago during the winter months should remember to:

1. Avoid using cruise control when driving on potentially slippery surfaces. Your ability to quickly alter the speed to match conditions will be impaired.

2. Tire tread depth is critically important for traction and grip on slippery, icy, or snow-laden roads. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Underinflated tires won’t get the maximum amount of traction needed to ensure safe driving.

3. Slow down. When visibility is diminished by snowstorms and roads are slippery, speed is more dangerous than usual.

4. Increase your following distance. Wet surfaces make it even harder to slow down. Keep a greater distance between yourself and other vehicles to reduce the likelihood of a wreck.

5. Keep abreast of weather conditions. Check the weather before venturing forth. If conditions are bad, don’t leave home unless it’s absolutely necessary.

6. Make sure your wiper fluid is full.

7. Keep your windows clean and clear. This is critical when driving in any bad weather conditions.

8. Wiper blades should be replaced every 6 months, especially if they are failing to clean your windows.

9. Make sure to clean the snow off your rear window before you start driving. Bad weather conditions make driving hard enough but limited visibility all around makes it far worse.

10. Lastly, and most importantly, don’t use a mobile phone while you’re driving. Your full attention should be on the road at all times.

Top 4 Apps For Driving Safely To Avoid An Accident

apps for driving safely

Here are some of the top apps that can help to keep you and your family safer on the road. The one thing that all of these apps have in common is that they prevent distracted driving. Everyone knows that using your smartphone when driving is dangerous, but people keep doing it anyway. These apps remove the temptation forcing drivers to make better decisions.

Try These Top 4 Apps For Driving Safely

1. Lifesaver

Lifesaver is a safe driving app that uses GPS monitoring to monitor the driver’s habits. It also has a feature that alerts parents or loved ones once someone arrives at their destination. The most important feature of this app is that it blocks phone usage while driving. Distracted driving is very dangerous.

Driving with all of your focus on the road is hard enough, but if you’re talking on your phone, reading texts, or looking at social media then driving safely is virtually impossible [2].

2. AT&T Drive Mode

Once a driver hits 15 mph in a car when they have this app, their phone is automatically blocked from receiving or sending texts or phone calls. This app is easy to set up, easy to use, and it’s blocking of phone use automatically helps to ensure that drivers behave responsibly on the road [1].

3. TrueMotion Family

TrueMotion Family is a free safe driving app that takes a unique approach to keep drivers safe and focused on the road. This app tracks your driving habits when you’re on the road and assigns you a score each time you drive [1].

This score can then be compared among friends and family members giving you an idea of who is driving safely and who needs to make improvements. What makes this app interesting is that it takes something serious and adds a bit of fun to the mix to keep things interesting.

4. Mojo

Mojo is an app that runs in the background as you drive and keeps track of the number of calls, texts, swipes, or other activities you do on your phone when you’re driving. For each minute that you drive without engaging in distracted driving behaviors, you’ll earn a point.

When you reach 300 points you get to spin a wheel for a chance to win a $5 gift card from Amazon, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Starbucks. This app also allows you to compete with your friends, making safe driving something that is fun and exciting for drivers [1].

Rewards systems have historically proven to be an effective way to encourage positive behavior and Mojo takes advantage of this.

Distracted Driving FAQs:

What are Distracted Driving Accidents?

Distracted driving accidents are those in which a driver is distracted by something else while driving, and as a result, causes an accident. Distracted driving can include anything from talking on the phone to fiddling with the radio to looking at something outside of the car.

What is a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer?

Distracted driving accident lawyers handle cases involving accidents caused by drivers who were distracted at the time of the accident. This can include cases where the driver was using a cell phone, eating, or even adjusting the radio. If you have been in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.

What is a Chicago Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

If you have been in a car accident in Chicago due to the negligence of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Chicago car accident attorney can help you recover damages for your injuries and property damage.

Five Key Points to Remember

  1. Distracted driving is a type of driver negligence that involves the failure to pay attention to the road or driving task.
  2. When anything distracts a driver, even marginally, it compromises the drivers ability to safely control the vehicle.
  3. Many common things can cause distracted driver accidents in Illinois, including daydreaming, anger, sadness, frustration, cellphones, books, maps, roadway signs, talking to passengers, children or pets in the vehicle, eating or drinking, personal grooming, and rubbernecking.
  4. Distracted driving is a crime in Illinois if the driver breaks the states cellphone laws.
  5. A traffic offense is not the same as civil liability for an auto accident involving a distracted driver. In Illinois, a distracted driver could face both criminal and civil liability for a wreck.

10 Key Questions to Ask a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

  1. What experience do you have with distracted driving accident cases? We have represented many clients who have been involved in accidents caused by distracted driving. We have also worked with clients who have been injured by distracted drivers. We have seen firsthand the devastation that can be caused by a distracted driver and the impact it can have on a family. We am committed to fighting for the rights of those who have been injured by distracted drivers and to holding them accountable for their actions.
  2. How many distracted driving accident cases have you handled? We’ve handled countless distracted driving accident cases in my career as a personal injury lawyer. Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents, and it’s something that I see far too often. I believe that drivers need to be more aware of the dangers of distracted driving and take steps to avoid it.
  3. What is your success rate in distracted driving accident cases? We have successfully represented many clients in distracted driving accident cases. We have a proven track record of success in these types of cases and have recovered millions of dollars for my clients. If you have been involved in a distracted driving accident, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
  4. What are the potential consequences of a distracted driving accident? The potential consequences of a distracted driving accident can be devastating. Victims can suffer from severe injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord damage, and traumatic brain injury. In some cases, these injuries can lead to permanent disability or even death. Distracted driving accidents can also cause extensive property damage, particularly if the accident involves a commercial vehicle. In addition to the financial costs associated with the accident, there can also be a significant emotional toll, as victims and their loved ones grapple with the aftermath of the accident.
  5. How can I prove that the other driver was distracted? If you were hit by a car while walking or riding your bike, and you believe that the driver was distracted, there are a few ways to prove it. Witnesses can provide statements to the police or to your insurance company about what they saw. The driver may have been ticketed for distracted driving. And, if you have video footage of the incident, that can be very helpful in proving your case.
  6. What are the most common types of distracted driving? The most common types of distracted driving are talking on the phone, texting, eating or drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, using a navigation system, and watching a video.
  7. How do I know if I have a case? If you were involved in a car accident and believe that the other driver was distracted, there are a few things you can look for to support your claim. First, look for signs that the other driver was distracted at the time of the accident, such as if they were on the phone or not paying attention to the road. Next, gather evidence to support your claim, such as witness statements or photos of the accident scene. Finally, consult with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and determine if you have a valid claim.
  8. What are the next steps? After a distracted driving accident, the first step is to call the police. Next, you will want to take pictures of the damage to your car and the other driver’s car. You will also want to get the contact information of any witnesses. Once you have all of this information, you will want to contact your insurance company.
  9. What are the chances of success? If you’ve been in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be wondering if you have a case. The answer depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the accident, the state in which it occurred, and the driver’s history. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action.
  10. What are the risks? Filing a distracted driving accident lawsuit can be a long and difficult process. You may have to deal with insurance companies, lawyers, and the court system. If you are not prepared, you may end up losing your case and receiving no compensation for your injuries.

If You’ve Been Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident

If you were in an accident involving distracted driving, as Chicago car accident lawyers, we can help. Our personal injury lawyers will explain your legal options and remedies if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.

[1] https://www.dmv.org/distracted-driving-apps.php


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