Does Distracted Driving Play a Significant Role in Car Accident Cases?

In a car accident case, distracted driving is evidence of negligence, and courts assign fault in accident cases based on each party's degree of negligence. Courts also determine the amount of compensation you can recover based on the other party's percentage of fault.

Today, distracted driving is under the microscope of increasing governmental scrutiny. Research and statistics substantiate the dangers of drivers whose attention is on texting, cell phone conversations or other distractions.

According to the Governor's Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), the current status of states and territories with distracted driving laws is as follows:

  • Primary enforcement exists in 12 states that ban hand-held cell phone use.
  • Washington, D.C. and 37 states ban cell phone use by novice drivers.
  • Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 43 states ban texting for all drivers.
  • Almost all states have a category for reporting distracted driving on police accident reports.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently named April National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implemented a nationwide advertising campaign that began airing in April, 2014. It focused on making distracted driving high visibility and involved a crackdown among law enforcement agencies to stop drivers who text and drive. Prior to launching this campaign, the NHTSA conducted distracted driving pilots in two states where law enforcement agencies issued tickets for cell phone and texting violations:

  • More than 10,700 citations in California
  • More than 6,200 citations in Delaware

As a result, observed cell phone use while driving decreased by one third.

Topics:  Car Accident, Distracted Driving, National Highway Safety Administration, Negligence

Published In: Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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