Distracted Driving Crashes
People check their cell phones for calls, emails, and texts. We use GPS systems to figure out where we’re going. We eat and drink on the run, too. Sometimes, we even groom in the car. While they may beg to differ, those who routinely multitask when they drive are distracted drivers who are impaired drivers who could harm or kill someone.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention away from the primary task of driving. In 2016, 3,405 in the United States died due to distracted drivers. According to the Center for Disease Control, distracted driving kills approximately nine people and injures 1,000 people each day in the U.S. In Colorado, an estimated 57,298 distracted-driving crashes occurred between 2012 and 2015 with an average of 40 distracted-driving crashes occurring each day last year.
What Kinds of Actions Constitute Distracted Driving?
Many drivers are aware of the dangers of distracted driving but continue to do so. Most people understand that texting and using a handheld cellphone while driving can be distracting. However, possible distractions include things many may not even consider distractions at all, like adjusting the radio, eating and drinking, using a navigation system and talking to someone in the car.
How Common Are Distracted Driving Crashes?
Distracted driving crashes are likely under-reported. Unlike alcohol-impaired driving, there’s no quick test, like a breathalyzer, to tell if someone was distracted at the time of the crash, and some drivers involved in crashes don’t admit they were driving while distracted. In fact, the police may not even check to see if a driver was distracted. The police would have to get a subpoena to check a driver’s phone records, and they may not be willing to do that with every single car crash just to find out if there was a phone call, internet activity, or text messages going out at the time.
What Should I Do If I Suspect That the Other Driver Was Distracted?
Sometimes in a car crash, you may actually see the other driver on the phone or looking down at their lap to send a text message. Other times, distracted drivers may actually be seen ending phone calls after they collide with another car. If so, tell police. What you remember right before the crash is most fresh in your memory immediately afterward.
Next, you should document what you saw or heard that made you think the driver was distracted. Chances are, the distracted driver has also committed some other behavior while to show inattentiveness, such as running a red light, going over the lines into the other lane, or turning when they don’t have the right of way.
The attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. are experienced at handling distracted driving cases and know the questions to ask and the records to obtain, such as cell phone records, in order to prove a distracted driving case. Call Kidneigh & Kaufman at 303-393-6666 to schedule your free consultation.
 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted Driving. https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Distracted Driving. https://www.cdc.gov/ motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/index.html
 Hayley Sanchez. Distracted driving caused 40 crashes each day in Colorado last year, and CDOT wants it to stop. https://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/04/distracted-driving-caused-40-crashes-each-day-in-colorado-last-year-and-cdot-wants-it-to-stop/.
 Joan Lowy. Study: Distracted Driving Deaths Underreported. https://www.usnews.com/news/ politics/articles/2013/05/07/study-distracted-driving-deaths-underreported.