Every spring a national campaign surfaces to help prevent vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving. April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month. An entire month is dedicated to this topic because 80% of all car accidents are a result of distracted driving. Whether you use this time to start a conversation with a teenage child who will start driving soon, or to reflect on your own driving habits that might put yourself and innocent people sharing the road at risk, our car accident attorneys in Cary and Raleigh provide a brief overview of distracted driving behaviors that commonly cause accidents:
- Texting and other cell phone use. Using a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle is illegal in North Carolina (since 2009) and many other states. Statewide, 2,018 cases were filed for texting while driving in 2013. This number includes Wake County's 257 cases, Cumberland's 42, Johnston's 27 and Durham's 12 cases, according to WNCN. However, using your mobile phone is not limited to calls and texts. Today individuals could be checking email, accessing social media, checking the news, playing a game, or any number of activities. If you are one of those drivers who thinks they are being discreet and will not get caught by authorities, you could still be killed or injured in an accident. Alternatively, new technology produced texting radar guns that authorities might use one day to pick out drivers breaking the law. Best practice: Keep your phone accessible in case you need to call for help in an accident, but keep alerts off and only check your phone when parked. #itcanwait
- Eating. Trying to eat while on the road takes both your eyes and hands off the wheel. You might try not to do drop food on your clothes or spill a hot coffee while driving, and in doing so you might not brake when needed or veer into another lane. Some accidents are caused by drivers choking on food. Drivers who choose to eat on the road are generally trying to save time and might be rushing or speeding to get to their destination. Long-distance drives could fatigue the driver as well. Best practice: Save meals for a quick rest stop.
- Grooming. Whether the driver is fixing their hair, applying makeup, or another grooming activity--these acts all require the driver's vision, which means the driver's eyes are off the road. Taking one's concentration away from the act of driving is not safe for the driver, passengers in the vehicle, and innocent people on the road or near the road. According to Traveler's Insurance, drivers are "three times more likely to have an accident if performing personal grooming, such as applying makeup or lipstick." Best practice: Save grooming for before/after your drive.
The acts above are negligent. If a driver's negligence contributed to your injuries or damage to your vehicle, you should learn your rights. Personal injury claims in North Carolina have a three-year statute of limitations. This means there is no rush for you to retain an attorney and move forward with your claim immediately. Take time to meet with injury lawyers and understand your legal rights in a North Carolina car accident claim. Of course, many victims want justice right away. Medical bills, lost work, car repairs - financial matters are stressful. We understand how difficult it is for individuals and families to rebuild their lives after an accident. Our injury lawyers in Cary and Raleigh can review out-of-court options like mediation and arbitration, in addition to trial options. All individuals involved in a car accident in North Carolina also receive a complimentary copy of Brent Adams' book - click the order box on the right side of this page to learn more.