Distracted driving poses a serious threat to everyone using the road any time of the year. While April has been designated as "Distracted Driving Awareness Month," we encourage driver vigilance year round.
Our attorneys have seen first-hand just how devastating accidents can be when a driver is not paying attention. The consequences of these types of car wrecks include debilitating injuries and, in some cases, loss of life. These tragic cases motivate us to fight for compensation and closure on behalf of victims we represent.
As safety advocates, we applaud efforts to reduce distracted driver accidents. Awareness campaigns such as Distracted Driving Awareness Month might cause a driver to think twice before texting or talking on a cell phone.
Educational efforts also play an important role. In an April 4 story, THV11 reported how an Arkansas driver training school recently bulked up its curriculum to shed light on the consequences of distracted driving. What's more, Arkansas State Police, Little Rock Police and the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office issued 1,277 distracted driving citations in 2015. No one wants to get a fine, but such efforts may make drivers think twice about texting behind the wheel.
What You Might Not Know About Distracted Driving
Most drivers probably realize that sending or receiving text messages while on the road might lead to a serious accident. But what about simply talking on a cell phone? What about using a hands-free device? In both cases, drivers are putting themselves and others using the road at risk.
If you're holding a cell phone and driving, you will only have one hand on the steering wheel, which is not safe. But you're also experiencing what researchers call a cognitive distraction. That is, your brain is focused on the details of the conversation and not fully processing what's happening on the road ahead of you.
That's why even hands-free devices are risky for drivers. They might have both hands on the wheel, but they're not fully paying attention. If you think that accidents linked to cellphone use are rare, think again. According to the National Safety Council, about one-fourth of all car wrecks can be traced back to someone using a cell phone while driving.
While cellphone use while driving has been a growing problem over the past several years, many other distractions have put people at risk ever since the days of the Model T. They include eating or drinking, looking at the backseat, reaching to adjust controls on the dashboard, glancing at people or objects on the side of the road, and being lost in thought.
The last factor - daydreaming or a general distraction - may be one of the biggest types of distraction. It also can be difficult to prove someone was distracted in such a way after an accident. The insurance company for the negligent driver might even try to shift the blame to the victim who was doing nothing wrong.
That's why it's critical to seek legal advice from experienced attorneys. At McDaniel Law Firm, PLC, we have dedicated our careers to helping people who have suffered serious injuries and wrongful death throughout Arkansas. If you or a loved one was injured or died because of a distracted driver, you will need us at your side, fighting for the compensation you need and deserve. Call 1-870-336-4747 for a free consultation.