Distracted driving is driving while simultaneously engaging in ANY activity that could take some or all of the driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. It is a given in legal theory that distracted driving endangers the health and safety of not only the driver but the passengers, other drivers and innocent bystanders.
These are a few of the most common distractions drivers are commonly engaged in while driving:
Eating and drinking
Using a navigation system, including maps
Adjusting a radio, CD or MP3 player
Applying makeup, grooming
Talking to passengers
Watching a video
BUT, these are the most common distractions afflicting America in 2014:
Mobile phone use
The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps key facts and statistics on such incidents in the US that are a result of distracted drivers:
It is now known that there are approximately 660,000 drivers at any given time in the US using their mobile phones or manipulating an electronic device.
The risk of getting into an accident while engaging in a visual-manual subtask (even reaching for your smartphone fits into this category) increases by 3 times.
There are an estimated 421,000 people injured or killed in the US each year due to distracted driving.
If a person were to take their eyes off the road to do a normal length text message, taking 5 seconds, their vehicle will travel more that the length of a football field at 55 mph.
If you are engaging in distracted driving you must change your habits and STOP it now!
If you have been in an accident and were on the phone or texting, even if you were not otherwise at fault, you might be help comparatively negligent for the accident. In this instant information age, witnesses to accidents can report that a driver was “looking down when the accident happened” and every person in the jury box will assume that the driver was either on the phone or reaching for an electronic devise and was therefore a distracted driver. It is important that any such circumstances be disclosed to your Nevada personal injury attorney so that the issue might be handled properly.
If you were driving distracted and in an accident, you have certain coverage issues and rights that insurance companies will evaluate on your claim. First, as mentioned before, comparative negligence statutes in Nevada will allow for a percentage of fault to be attributed to one, two or more drivers in an automobile accident. A person in these situations is only allowed to recover for injuries or damages as long as their negligence is not more than that of the other driver or drivers. Distracted driving is an increasing area of law that is making the uncertainty of personal injury recovery even more uncertain. In addition, distracted driving as a practice might increase the risk factor for the insurance company when evaluating your insurance coverage and premium costs.
HOW CAN I KEEP MY INSURANCE COSTS DOWN?
There are a few things that a driver can do to keep their insurance costs down in an age of increased distracted driving:
1. Educate yourself and your family as to the effects of all distracted driving.
2. Practice safe driving by minimizing distractions as a matter of habit.
3. Research products that may be installed on smartphones that disable the driver’s ability to use these devises while driving.
4. Discuss your efforts and families’ dedication to driving with less distractions as ask about discounts or considerations with regards to your coverage and premiums.
Let common sense guild you and your loved ones as it relates to driving safety and how to avoid distracted driving. Your insurance covers negligence and if you drive distracted that is indeed negligence, however, if you can avoid accidents and be a more defensive, safe, driver, your health and pocketbook will both be in better shape as a result.