Philadelphia Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
Over the course of the last decade distracted driving has become a term for multiple forms of distractions that disturbs the driver’s attention away from the primary action of responsibly driving. Often forgotten after acquiring a driver’s license is the notion that driving is not a right, it is a privilege. While there is no definitive and agreed upon definition of distracted driving, a Philadelphia distracted driving attorney at Rosenbaum & Associates can receive full compensation for you in a legal case where there was suspected distracting driving.
According to the Overview of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Driver Distracted Program, distracted driving is a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driving task to focus on some other activity instead. Some examples of distracted driving are talking to a passenger, texting, any use of a cell phone or smart phone while driving, using a navigation system, watching a video, eating and drinking, personal grooming or hygiene, reading maps or directions, using a radio, CD player, or mp3 player. Essentially, any action that requires you to manually, cognitively, and or visually focus on something other than driving, is considered distracting driving.
How Problematic is Distracted Driving
A Philadelphia distracted driving attorney will tell you that distracted driving in has presented a major issue. Distracted-affected crashes accounted for ten percent of all fatal crashes in 2011, with the estimate considered being low as pre-crash distractions evidence can be hard to detect and drivers tend to be reluctant to admit they were distracted prior to a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2011, an estimated 2,217,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes, of that total, 387,000 (17% of all injured people) were injured in motor vehicle crashes where distracted driving specifically played a role. Out of the total people injured in 2011, 3,331 people were fatally injured in crashes directly related to distracted driving. Pennsylvania’s legislation are actively trying to combat the rise in distracted related crashes especially within the largest representative group, novice drivers, by passing the anti-texting law which went into effect on March, 8, 2012. The law prohibits any driver from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device, to send, read, or write, a text-based communication while his or her vehicle is in motion. In 2010, there were 13,846 crashes in Pennsylvania where distracted driving was associated with the motor vehicle accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation are leading the way in helping to decrease the rate of death in new drivers and inform the general public on the dangers of distracted driving.
How Can Multitasking While Driving Hinder Your Driving Abilities
Sending or reading one text message, no matter how quick you believe you can get back to just driving, requires that you take your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. Philadelphia distracted driving attorney Jeff Rosenbaum explains if your car is traveling at a rate of 55 mph, reading or sending a text message is the equivalent of driving the entire length of a football field, blindfolded. During those crucial few seconds where your eyes and brain are no longer solely cognizant of driving, many drivers who text end up rear-ending a car, or swerving into on coming traffic, or driving into an inanimate object, person, place, or thing, often resulting in property damage to the driver. Numerous behavior studies have shown that engaging in a secondary task, such as talking on the phone decreases driving performance. Even using a hands-free device does little to curb the distraction and has been found to equally contribute to accidents as those users of hand-held devices (Redelmeier and Tibshirani, 1997; McEvoy et al., 2005). A recent 2008 study from the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, Department of Psychology, at Carnegie Mellon University found that there was decreases in brain activation associated with driving when listening to someone speak. The study found that driving while listening and talking on the phone requires a concurrent dual-task performance that splits the limited mental responses resulting in a competition for the same neural resources (Just, Keller, Cynkar, 2008). There was a clear difference in talking to someone on the phone versus talking with a passenger in the same vehicle. A passenger in the car is less likely to hinder a driver’s ability to concentrate, as they are both aware of the competing demands for the driver’s attention. While we in America tend to value multitasking, it can have lethal and pricey consequences when driving.
Costly Consequences of Distracted Driving in Philadelphia
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that approximately 8% of drivers on the roadway at any given daylight hours are using their cell phones (Glassbrenner, 2005). The criminal and civil liability associated with a distracted-affected crash can be severe. Those found to be liable in a distracted driving crash may be required to pay for the financial compensation of the medical and hospital bills of the injured party, their lost wages and salary, any physical therapy needed as a result of soft tissue damage from the crash, any pain and suffering, as well as their lost future earning capacity. Simply put, it is not worth the fine, time, and potential fatality involved in driving distracted. There is no text or phone call that cannot be done prior to driving or after one parks their vehicle.
Contact A Philadelphia Distracted Driving Attorney
If you or a loved one is seeking representation from a Philadelphia distracted driving attorney at Rosenbaum and Associates may be able to help. If you would like more information please contact us online or call 1 800 7 LEGAL 7 for a Free Case Evaluation.