Distracted driving is not a novel concept. People have been driving distracted since automobiles were invented. Back in the day, distracted driving consisted of kids fighting in the car or getting too involved in a conversation with passengers.
Things have changed. The presence of the cellphone has morphed distracted driving into something that occurs within the vehicle into something that is taking place in the ubiquitous cloud that is the Internet.
The increased use of the cellphone led to concerns about people talking on the phone while they were driving, then that concern morphed into worries about texting while driving. The latest issue involves the use of various interactive apps, like Pokémon Go! and Snapchat. In some cases, people are more concerned about what is going on in these virtual worlds than they are about the world directly in front of them. This can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
What should I do if I am injured in a distracted driving accident?
Victims who find themselves in these accidents can benefit from the following tips:
- Evaluate. Immediately following the accident, evaluate the situation. Are you injured? Is anyone injured? If so, seek medical attention. Was serious damage done to the car or other property? If so, it is likely wise to contact the police.
- Document. Get contact information from the other driver, other passengers if present and any witnesses. If the police were called, get the responding officer's names and ask for a copy of the report. If you seek medical attention due to injuries from the accident, keep copies of all the bills. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene.
- Hold accountable. In some situations, victims may be able to hold the responsible driver accountable through a personal injury suit. In addition to holding the guilty party accountable for his or her actions, the suit can also result in compensation to help cover the costs associated with the accident. A third and equally beneficial result of these lawsuits is the fact that they also serve as a method of deterrence, reducing the risk that others will make the same mistakes.
These are just three of the many steps that victims of distracted driving accidents can take to help protect themselves and move on with their lives.