Delaware Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
Experienced distracted driving accident attorneys in Wilmington, Seaford, and Newark, DE
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 to be just as, if not more, dangerous than drunk driving. The challenge is that drivers do not have a clear understanding of just how much their driving is impaired when they allow themselves to be distracted from the task of driving by their cell phone, drinking their morning coffee, or even shaving behind the wheel.
At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our Delaware distracted driving accident attorneys take an aggressive approach to protecting our clients’ interests when they have been injured by a distracted driver in Wilmington, Seaford, Newark, or throughout Delaware. Our Delaware distracted driving accident lawyers 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.
How can our Delaware distracted driving accident lawyers help?
How dangerous is distracted driving?
- Drivers spend one minute, 38 seconds on their phones while driving.
- Nearly one in eight traffic accidents are due to cell phone use.
- For teenagers, 44 percent of fatal traffic accidents involved distracted driving.
Of the 28,473 vehicle accidents in Delaware in 2022, 6,552 involved a distracted or fatigued driver. Nine people died, and 1,338 sustained some level of injury from those distracted driving crashes.
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 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 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 about something other than the task of driving.
Therefore, distracted driving includes:
- Composing, sending, or receiving text messages on mobile phone
- Talking on a 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 also involve pedestrians, motorcycle riders, or cyclists. When truck drivers violate FMCSA rules and text behind the wheel, the resulting collision can be deadly. The tragedy is that these accidents that cause so much property damage, injuries, and death are easily preventable.
What are Delaware’s distracted driving laws?
Delaware, according to the Office of Highway Safety, as of 2011, bans all drivers from using hand-held devices and items including – smart phones, cell phones, and laptop and gaming computers. Drivers cannot use these devices to read, write, or send text messages, use the Internet, or send an email unless the items are “hands-free.” The penalty for a first violation is $100. The penalty for subsequent violations will be between $200 and $300.
Delaware was the 30th state to ban text messaging and the eighth to ban hand-held cell phones.
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 specific statutes that regulate reckless driving and distracted driving, the use of electronic devices, and cell phone use by bus drivers are as follows
- 4176. Careless or inattentive driving. This law provides that drivers can be charged with inattentive driving if they fail to give their full time and attention to the operation of their vehicle. First offenses can be fined between $25 and $75. Subsequent offenses, within a three-year period, can be fined up to $95.
- 4176C. Electronic communication devices. This is the law that prohibits the use of any electronic communication device while a vehicle is in motion including mobile devices, laptops, and electronic games. The law provides for some exceptions including the use of hands-free devices, use by law enforcement officers and other professions listed in the statute, reporting traffic accidents, and other exceptions.
- Cell phone use by school bus drivers; penalties. This law prohibits school bus drivers from using a cell phone while the bus is in motion and transporting at least one child – unless specific equipment exceptions apply.
The skilled 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 answer 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.
How do you show a driver drove while distracted?
Our lawyers work with investigators who investigate the accident site and the damage to the vehicles – including any signs a driver was eating, drinking, or distracted in any other way. The investigators also speak to any witnesses. As part of the discovery process, we seek to examine the phone information for the date and time of the accident to show what texting and conversations were taking place. We also fully question the defendants and witnesses about every activity of the driver before and during the accident.
Who is responsible for a distracted driving accident in Delaware?
In addition to the defendant, an employer may also be liable. The owners of the car may also be liable if the driver did own the car. For example, often, parents are liable if their teenager uses their vehicle and the teen causes an accident due to driver distraction. Other defendants may also be liable depending on how the accident happened.
Do you have a Wilmington distracted driving lawyer near me?
Silverman McDonald & Friedman has offices located at:
- 1523 Concord Pike, Suite 400, Wilmington, DE 19803
- 300 High St., Seaford, DE 19973
- 4134 Ogletown-Stanton Rd., Newark, DE 19713
We’ll guide you through each phase of the litigation process. Many cases do settle. We’re always ready to try your case before a jury if the insurance companies fail to make reasonable settlement offers.
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Delaware distracted driving accident lawyer today
The Delaware distracted driving accident lawyers at Silverman McDonald & Friedman are here to help you recover financial and emotional damages after an accident. Allow us to take on the legal challenge while you focus on healing and moving on with your life. Please call us or fill out our contact form to schedule your no-obligation free consultation to discuss your case. We serve the three Delaware counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, including the cities of Wilmington, Newark, Seaford, and the Delaware Beaches.
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