In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted drivers as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There are three types of distractions that a driver may face while traveling on a road or highway in Alabama. Cognitive distractions occur when a person does anything that takes his or her mental focus away from the road. For instance, thinking about work or other topics while driving can be considered a cognitive distraction.
Other common occurrences such as talking to passengers or listening to the radio can qualify as this type of distraction. Those who look away from the road are said to be visually distracted. Visual distractions can involve changing a radio station, checking a smartphone or looking back to break up a fight between children riding in a rear seat. Eating or drinking while driving is typically referred to as a manual distraction as it forces a driver to take his or her hands off of the steering wheel.
Drivers may reduce their chances of being distracted by turning their phones off before they turn their cars on. It may also be a good idea to program a GPS or choose a radio station prior to leaving for school, work or other destinations. Finally, individuals may want to eat at home or in a restaurant parking lot instead of while driving.
A person who is hurt because of a distracted or otherwise negligent driver’s actions may receive a financial settlement or a jury award after a personal injury trial. Attorneys may help injured victims obtain money to recover lost wages or to replace items that were damaged or lost in motor vehicle accidents. In some cases, government agencies and various manufacturers may be liable for damages caused in a car accident.