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Distracted drivers are the biggest danger most of us face when we get behind the wheel. Almost anything can become a distraction, and anything that takes a driver’s focus away from the road can be deadly. A split second of inattention can lead to serious crashes and catastrophic injuries. Even worse, when distractions are combined with excessive speeds, the consequences are often fatal.
If you believe your crash was caused by a distracted driver, please know you are not alone and you have options available to you. Before you accept an insurance settlement or sign anything an insurance adjuster offers you, contact a Denver car accident attorney at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, by calling (303) 502-5587. We’ll look for the maximum compensation to cover all your injuries and losses, even the emotional ones. And if we represent you, you pay no fee to us until after you’ve recovered money from the at-fault driver.
Distractions Are Dangerous
When people get behind the wheel of a car, truck, or SUV, they assume an awesome responsibility. When you’re driving, you have direct control over thousands of pounds of machinery, which can travel much faster than most people can fully appreciate. Being able to react quickly is essential to safely operating a vehicle, and anything that takes away your reaction time is a serious danger to everyone on the road.
When a driver is distracted, she puts everyone around her in incredible danger. Distractions, whether it be a chatty passenger, misbehaving kids in the back seat, or a supposedly important call, are deadly on the road. They make it harder to see what is happening and react in an appropriate way. And yet, distracted driving is incredibly common, not just in Denver, but across the entire country.
The Three Different Kinds of Distractions
There are countless ways for a driver to become distracted while on the road: by putting on makeup, turning to look at a passenger, or fiddling with the radio. Each of these particular actions falls into one, or more, of the three kinds of distractions, as labeled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They include:
Manual distraction: When a driver becomes manually distracted, it means that he has removed his hands from the wheel. The steering wheel controls the direction of the car, and letting go of it, whether to change radio stations, grab something from the passenger seat, or take a bite of breakfast, could lead to a driver losing control of his car altogether.
Visual distraction: When behind the wheel, drivers should always keep an eye on the road ahead, behind, and to the side of them. They can to this by looking forward or checking their mirrors. This allows a driver to stop when appropriate, and merge or turn safely. If a drive is visually distracted, then she is no longer looking at the road and cannot operate the vehicle safely.
Cognitive distraction: A cognitive distraction can be the hardest to spot because it involves the driver not thinking about the road. While he may be looking directly ahead, hands on the wheel, if his mind has started to wander, he is still distracted. Daydreaming is incredibly dangerous while driving. It lowers a driver’s reaction time, meaning that he won’t be able to stop or swerve in time to avoid a collision.
When it comes to distracted driving, smartphones are one of the most dangerous inventions of the 21st century. If a driver is sending texts, then at least one of her hands has been removed from the wheel, her eyes are on the phone’s screen, not the road, and her mind is on how someone is going to respond. However, this isn’t the only cause of distracted drivers.
Common Distractions for Drivers
It is important to know the common distractions, as knowing what to look for can help you spot the signs of a distracted driver, which in turn can help you prove negligence if you have been the victim of a crash. Some common kinds of distractions include:
- Playing with the radio
- Making a phone call with a hands-free device
- Talking with passengers
- Using a GPS
- Putting on makeup
Most young drivers learn about how dangerous distracted driving is during driver’s education courses, or from their parents. Sadly, many seasoned drivers think that they are the exception to the rule. When drivers put their confidence and ego above responsibility, there are dire consequences.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
Collisions involving distracted drivers can be extremely destructive. When a safe driver sees stopped traffic ahead, a crossing pedestrian, or another car merging into his lane, he slows down, and then comes to a complete stop. Distracted drivers do not notice what is directly in front of them on the road so they don’t slow down or stop. Instead, they plow through the obstacle, causing catastrophic damage. Unfortunate victims of these negligent drivers may suffer:
- Broken bones
- Internal organ injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of limb
Of course, that is only if the victims survive at all. Many are killed by distracted drivers, leaving heartbroken and financially unstable families behind. Wrongful death is a terrible tragedy, and when distracted drivers are responsible for such a terrible event, they should be held accountable so that families can pay for medical bills, property damage, funeral costs, and pain and suffering. Few at-fault drivers take responsibility for their actions, however, and their insurance companies are unlikely to do it for them. That is why you need to work with a skilled attorney who can fight for your right to recoverable damages.
Call a Denver Car Accident Attorney for Serious Help
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries due to a distracted driver, take action to hold the driver accountable. Doing so may take some work, but we are ready and willing to take on that burden so that you can get the justice and compensation that you deserve. Call the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, at (303) 502-5587 to discuss your options and make sure your rights are protected.