While many factors can contribute to an auto accident, distracted driving is a major cause of these incidents. Driving while distracted is anything that removes the driver’s attention from the surrounding traffic and road. This includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or even daydreaming. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this type of negligence killed 3,522 people in 2021 alone. This is a staggering number and highlights the seriousness of this issue.
Impact on Auto Accidents
Distracted driving significantly increases the risk of an auto accident. When drivers are not fully focused on the road, they are likely to make mistakes or react slower to potential hazards. This can lead to rear-end collisions, sideswipes, and other types of accidents. Being distracted while driving can cause injuries to other motorists and harm pedestrians, bicyclists and others.
Washington, D.C. Laws on Distracted Driving
In an effort to combat driving while distracted, Washington, D.C., has implemented laws and regulations to discourage drivers from engaging in these activities while behind the wheel. For example, it is illegal for drivers to use hand-held devices while operating a vehicle in the city. Additionally, novice and school bus drivers are banned from using any electronic device while driving.
Preventing Distractions While Driving
While laws and regulations can help reduce distracted drivers, it is ultimately up to each individual driver to make responsible choices while handling a motor vehicle. Here are some tips for preventing driving while distracted:
- Put your phone away
- Avoid eating and drinking while driving
- Use voice commands
- Pull over if necessary
- Avoid changing the radio station or accessing the GPS
What To Do If You Are Involved in an Auto Accident
Even with precautions, accidents can still happen. If you are involved in an auto accident caused by distracted driving, here are some steps to take:
- Check for injuries: The first priority after an accident is ensuring everyone involved is safe and calling for medical assistance if needed.
- Report the accident: In Washington, D.C., accidents resulting in injury or property damage of $1,000 or more must be reported to the police.
- Gather information: Exchange information with the other driver, including insurance and contact details. It is also helpful to take photos of the accident scene and any damages.
- Contact an injury lawyer: If you have been injured in the accident, seeking legal representation from an experienced injury lawyer may be beneficial. They can help you navigate the legal process, determine liability, collect the evidence that supports your claim and pursue compensation for your damages.
The Roeser Law Firm: Car Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, please contact us at the Roeser Law Firm. Contact us today by calling (202) 660-4070 for a free consultation. You can also reach us online if you prefer. We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims and will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Trust us to handle your case with care and expertise. Call us today for a free consultation.