Auto Accidents Caused by Distracted Drivers in Delaware
Experienced car accident attorneys in Wilmington, New Castle and Seaford
Distracted driving is the “new” drunk driving; everyone, everywhere seems to be talking about it. Laws are passed, public service announcements are made, and people around the country are taking it up as a cause. Rightfully so; distracted driving has proven just as, if not more, dangerous than drunk driving. The challenge is that drivers do not have a clear understanding about just how much their driving is impaired when they allow themselves to be distracted from the task of driving by other things such as their cell phone, drinking their morning coffee or even shaving behind the wheel.
At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our Wilmington personal injury attorneys take an aggressive approach to protecting our clients’ interests when they have been injured by a distracted driver in Wilmington, Seaford, New Castle, or throughout Delaware. We leverage our 100 years of combined experience to help our clients get the compensation they deserve after they have been injured in a car accident with a distracted driver.
The hazards of distracted driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2016. In 2015, 391,000 people sustained injuries in car crashes involving distracted drivers.
Contrary to popular belief, talking on the phone while using a hands-free headset is not safer than using a handheld mobile phone. The National Safety Foundation reports that the brain remains distracted by the phone conversation regardless as to whether the phone is held in the hand, or a headset is used.
What is distracted driving?
Sometimes we think of distracted driving as texting behind the wheel, but there are many other distractions, or secondary behaviors, that divide the driver’s attention from the task of driving. The NHTSA defines three broad categories of distractions:
- Visual distraction.Things that cause the driver to look away from the roadway
- Manual distraction.Tasks that cause the driver to take their hand off of the steering wheel
- Cognitive distraction.Tasks that involve thinking something other than the task of driving
Therefore, distracted driving includes:
- Texting on mobile phone
- Eating and drinking
- Reading a map or fiddling with GPS
- Manipulating the radio, CDs, or MP3 player
- Personal grooming
- Any other secondary behavior that distracts the driver’s attention from the task of driving
Distracted driver accidents can result in a driver crashing into a tree or other stationary object, but all too often they involve pedestrians, motorcycle riders, or cyclists. When truck drivers violate FMCSA rules and text behind the wheel, the ensuring collision can be deadly. The tragedy is that these accident that cause so much property damage, injuries and death could have been so easily prevented.
Distracted driving by the numbers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than nine people are killed each day, and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Texting on a mobile phone takes the driver’s eyes off of the road on average for 4.6 seconds at a time, which increases the chances that they will end up in a crash by 23 percent.
Ten percent of fatal auto accidents, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of police-reported motor-vehicle crashes in 2013 (the most recent data available) were distraction-affected crashes. In 2013 there where 3,154 people killed and approximately 424,000 injured in motor-vehicle crashes that involved distracted driving according to National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Delaware distracted driving laws
The state of Delaware has a primary law for distracted driving, which bans all drivers from using a handheld mobile phone while driving. There is a ban on cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers and novice drivers. There is a ban on texting for all drivers of any age.
The competent Wilmington distracted driving injury attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman will investigate the accident, preserve the evidence and determine who was at fault. We make it a point to answers your questions as soon as we can, so that you’re never left waiting (and panicking) when you need information. Our team does everything it can to make sure that you will receive the best possible outcome for your injuries and losses from a distracted driver accident.
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Delaware car accident lawyer today
The Delaware auto accident lawyers at Silverman McDonald & Friedman are here to help you recover financially after an accident. Allow us to take on the legal challenge while you focus on healing and moving on with your life. You are welcome to call us at 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form to schedule your no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. We serve the three Delaware counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, including the cities of Wilmington, New Castle, Seaford and the Delaware Beaches.