April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

In the modern age, where technology intertwines with every aspect of our lives, distractions have become ubiquitous, especially on the roads. April, designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, serves as a crucial reminder of the perils of distracted driving and the importance of fostering safer road practices. With lives at stake and the alarming statistics of accidents caused by distracted driving, our Virginia Beach car accident attorneys know this month provides an opportune time to amplify awareness, educate individuals, and enact changes to combat this pervasive issue.

Distracted driving involves activities that divert a driver’s attention from safely operating a vehicle. It includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, and even daydreaming. Many individuals succumb to these distractions despite knowing the risks, leading to catastrophic consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,308 lives in 2022 alone, underscoring the urgent need for action.

Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving poses a myriad of perils, threatening not only the driver but also passengers, pedestrians, and fellow motorists on the road. When drivers divert their attention from the road, even momentarily, their ability to react to changing traffic conditions diminishes. Any distraction can lead to a devastating collision, whether glancing at a text message, adjusting the radio, or reaching for an object. Engaging in distracted driving behaviors leads to:

Loss of Focus

Distractions fragment a driver’s attention, impairing their ability to focus entirely on the task of driving. As a result, they may miss crucial details such as traffic signals, road signs, or the movements of other vehicles, increasing the risk of errors and misjudgments.

Delayed Reaction Times

Engaging in distractions prolongs the time it takes for a driver to react to hazards on the road. Even a split-second delay in response can be catastrophic, especially when it comes to avoiding collisions or pedestrians.

Impaired Decision-Making

Distractions compromise a driver’s ability to make sound decisions while behind the wheel. They may fail to assess risks accurately or choose inappropriate actions, leading to dangerous maneuvers or failure to yield right-of-way.

Decreased Awareness of Surroundings

When drivers are distracted, their awareness of the surrounding environment diminishes. They may fail to notice changes in traffic patterns, the presence of cyclists or pedestrians, or obstacles on the road, putting themselves and others in harm’s way.

Inattention Blindness

Research has shown that distractions can cause a phenomenon known as “inattention blindness,” where drivers fail to see objects in their field of vision despite looking directly at them. This phenomenon further underscores the dangers of diverting attention from the road.

Escalated Severity of Accidents

The severity of injuries in accidents involving distracted driving tends to be higher than in other crashes. This is often because distracted drivers are less likely to take evasive actions or employ defensive driving techniques to mitigate the impact.

Legal Recourse in Distracted Driving Accidents

The injuries in distracted driving accidents are often more severe compared to other types of crashes. Distracted drivers are less likely to take evasive actions or employ defensive driving techniques to mitigate the impact. Some of the damages a car accident victim may be entitled to include:

Economic Damages

  • Medical expenses: This includes all costs related to medical treatment, such as hospital bills, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, therapy, and assistive devices. It also covers future medical expenses if the injuries are expected to require ongoing care.
  • Lost income: Victims may seek compensation for wages lost due to their inability to work following the accident. This includes both current lost income and future earning capacity if the injuries result in long-term or permanent disability.
  • Transportation costs: Victims may claim reimbursement for expenses incurred for transportation to and from medical appointments, as well as alternative transportation costs if their vehicle is rendered unusable.
  • Home modifications: In cases of severe injuries resulting in mobility impairments, victims may seek compensation for modifications to their home to accommodate their disabilities, such as wheelchair ramps or bathroom modifications.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and suffering: This refers to physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish experienced as a result of the accident and injuries. Quantifying pain and suffering is subjective and often calculated based on the severity of the injuries and their impact on the victim’s life.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: Victims may seek compensation for the loss of ability to participate in activities and hobbies they enjoyed before the accident due to their injuries.
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement: Compensation may be sought for lasting disabilities or disfigurements resulting from the accident, which can impact the victim’s quality of life and self-esteem.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm Today

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact  Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for a free consultation with one of our skilled Virginia Beach car accident attorneys to find out what legal recourse you may have against the at-fault driver. Our firm will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve, like the $235,000 car accident insurance settlement we obtained for one client who suffered multiple injuries when another driver failed to yield the right of way.

Keep in mind, however, there is a statute of limitations on how long you have to file your accident claim. Once that time frame has closed, so does the window to file your car accident claim. Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today.