After a long hot summer, children and parents are eager for the school year to start. A break is nice, but it is always great to get back in the swing of school and start another year. With all the excitement of going back to school, there’s also the excitement of new student drivers. That excitement shows as August is one of the higher months for total number of collisions in Delaware County with the age group of 15- to 20-year-olds as one of the highest age groups for a Muncie car accident to occur. Muncie car accidents can happen for a number of reasons, but one of the main causes is distracted driving. There can be serious injuries, damages, or even fatalities as a result of driving distracted.
Three Types of Muncie Distracted Driving
Driving requires a huge amount of your attention. At first, new drivers are more likely to be cautious and hyperaware of driving and do so diligently; however, once the “newness” of driving has worn off and teens become more experienced, that diligence might begin to wear off, causing your attention to be split between several distractions. Young drivers aren’t the only ones who are prone to driving distracted. The same can be said about older, more experienced drivers.
Manual Driving Distractions
To categorize manual distractions, think of tasks that cause you to take either or both hands off the steering wheel. Common examples are:
- Eating food or drinking a beverage
- Adjusting your seatbelt or your child’s
- Searching for something in your purse or wallet
- Adjusting the air conditioning, radio, etc.
- Using your phone
Visual Driving Distractions
While manual distractions tempt you to lose control of the steering wheel, visual distractions allow your eyes to wander off of the road — refocusing your attention from the road to something else. Examples of visual distractions include:
- Looking at items in your car
- Glancing at your GPS
- Searching for a new radio station
- Admiring the scenery
- Doing your makeup
- Looking at notifications on your phone
Cognitive Driving Distractions
Cognitive distractions affect your mind’s focus as it is concentrated on something else other than driving. Examples of cognitive distractions include:
- Talking to other people in the car or on the phone
- Thinking about upsetting news or information
- Exhibiting road rage
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while drowsy or tired
What Type of Distraction is Texting?
Texting while driving is a type of manual, visual, and cognitive distraction. Drivers can be looking at a text, typing back a response, and thinking about the conversation all at once. Phone usage is such an easy distraction for drivers to fall into. In fact, 660,000 drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are distracted by their phones at any given moment during the daytime. Cell phone distractions contribute as part of the reason for the 4,301 total collisions of Delaware County in 2016. The Department of Motor Vehicles suggests ways to help avoid using your phone while driving in addition to avoiding distractions while driving:
- Keep Calm: Stress can be an added distraction that splits your focus between the highway and other issues happening around you or in your life.
- Pull off the Road: If you can’t find your focus, are tired, or need a break from driving, pull off the road to a rest area or well-lit lot. Avoid pulling off at dark places.
- Ask Your Passengers: When driving with passengers, ask one of them to be responsible for changing the music, adjusting the temperature, being the navigator, etc.
- Don’t Get on the Phone: If you trust someone else in the car, let them be responsible for replying to texts or checking the directions. You can even download different apps that will prevent you from texting while driving.
How to Prove Distracted Driving Caused Your Muncie Car Accident
It is an unfortunate situation to be in, but if you are in a Muncie car accident with a distracted driver, there are five possible ways to prove the distracted driver was at fault:
- The Police Report: After every Muncie car accident, a police report should be filed that details the circumstances of each accident. Some reports may even imply who is at fault, although this is not official. Accident reports are likely evidence to be admitted into court; if you saw the other driver on their cell phone before the accident, mention that to the officer.
- The Other Driver: In the heat of the moment, some drivers may feel guilty or scared after the accident and claim fault for the collision by saying they were looking at their phone. It can be tricky to use this against the other driver because they can easily deny it if no one else witnesses their admission, but it adds a good foundation to your case.
- Bystanders: Depending where, when, and who is around, a bystander might have witnessed the accident and can testify about the cell phone usage before the accident.
- Using Cell Phone Records: Call logs and text message records can be used in court to prove if the other driver was texting or on the phone with someone at the time of the crash.
- Photos and Video: Dash cameras come in handy if the driver was caught on video texting and driving. Checking cameras and looking at photos is a good way to show solid evidence.
Hire a Muncie Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can happen to anyone and are likely to cause property damage or personal injury no matter if a distracted driver was the cause or not. Don’t wait to bring a Muncie car accident attorney in to help with your case. Call Hensley Legal Group today for your free legal consultation or contact us online.