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Cell Phones: Only One Clue When Watching For Distracted Drivers

Mar 24, 2016 - Car Accidents by

Many drivers equate cell phone use with distracted driving, but device use is certainly not the only way motorists can become distracted and cause accidents. Just about any Charlotte car accident lawyer can cite many client injuries involving distracted driving with no cell phone involved. Every motorist needs to be fully aware of the true definition of distracted driving and look for a full range of clues that can help avoid accidents caused by any other driver whose attention is not fully focused on the road.

The Definition of Distracted Driving Does Not Mention Cell Phones

The ever-increasing popularity — and functionality — of cell phones earn these devices a prominent place in a long list of distractions that drivers face every day. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention takes a step back when defining distracted driving, identifying the following three main types:

  • Visual: These are the instances when drivers take their eyes off the road.
  • Manual: Anything that takes one or both hands off the wheel qualifies as a distraction.
  • Cognitive: Allowing the mind to wander away from the task of driving is also a distraction.

It only takes one child (or even an adult passenger) in the car to create at least one of these distractions. Simply add a snack, a favorite song, a quick look at a GPS device or a search for toll road change to create more distractions. Even a hands-free phone call can create a situation known as an accident waiting to happen.

Two Reasons Why Distracted Driving Clues are Important

Every motorist who has the opportunity to recognize clues that a distracted driver is sharing the road often has the chance to keep a distance and prevent involvement in an accident. Even when it is impossible to prevent being struck by a distracted driver, however, the clues can still help develop evidence that points to liability. This information can be essential when filing an insurance claim against a negligent driver’s policy, and it certainly can make a difference when pursuing compensation in or out of court.

In general, distracted driving clues take two forms:

  • Driving behavior: Distracted driver behavior is different from the actions of fully-engaged drivers. For example, a car that veers into another lane, inappropriately displays brake lights or maintains inconsistent speeds might be under the control of a distracted driver.
  • In-vehicle activities: NC window tinting laws can potentially prevent other drivers from viewing in-vehicle activities from anything other than the windshield. When possible, however, a peek into a nearby vehicle can reveal drivers with phones at their ears, reaching back to control active children or countless other types of distracting activities.

Even when the clues do not provide the opportunity to avoid accidents, they can provide important information when describing an accident to an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney. Call us at 844-452-3688 or use our convenient online contact form to start a conversation and learn how we can help.