The Indiana Department of Labor (DOL) website identifies distracted driving as “any non-driving activity a motorist engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving.” Reasons cited for distracted driving include busy lifestyles, stressful jobs, and technology.
Distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, notes that distracted driving occurs any time a driver takes his or her eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off the primary task of driving safely. Essentially, distracted driving is any non-driving activity in which a driver engages, such as texting while driving. It’s a potential distraction and increases the risk of crashing.
According to the Indiana DOL, the three main types of distracted driving occur when a driver takes his/her mind off the road (cognitive); eyes off the road (visual); or hands off the wheel (manual).
Common driving distractions are:
- Cell phone use, whether talking, texting, or browsing the internet
- Talking to vehicle passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Engaging in personal grooming activities (hair brushing, applying makeup, shaving, etc…)
- Reading books, magazines, newspapers, or maps
- Using a navigation system (GPS)
- Watching videos
- Changing a radio station, CD, mp3, or digital music device
Distracted Driving Crash Statistics
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) cites distraction-affected crashes as those “in which a driver was identified as distracted at the time of the crash.”
According to 2012 DOT statistics, distraction-affected crashes accounted for 10 percent of fatal crashes; 16 percent of all 2012 motor vehicle traffic crashes; and 18 percent of all injury crashes.
Motor vehicle crashes in 2012 involving distracted drivers accounted for:
- 3,328 fatalities
- 421,000 injured
- 540 non-occupants killed
Teenagers account for the largest proportion of distracted drivers.
Distracted Driving Car Accident Victims
When you’re involved in a car accident caused by distracted driving, take steps in the immediate aftermath of the accident to help preserve evidence and avoid mistakes in talking with an insurance adjuster.
The Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) accident guide recommends the following steps:
- Gather information, and take good notes. It’s required to share your contact information with others involved in the accident, including name, address, and vehicle registration number.
Record the same information from any others involved in the accident.
- Obtain the phone numbers of all involved.
- Record the license plate numbers and vehicle models of all involved.
- Try to get the driver’s license number and insurance information of all involved drivers.
- Record the names of any law enforcement personnel on the scene.
- Try to get the contact information of any witnesses.
Preserving evidence and keeping accurate records of the accident will help you when making your insurance claim.
Indiana Car Accident Attorney
Experienced car accident attorney Randall Sevenish represents clients in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana. At the Sevenish Law Firm, we are committed to helping car accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve.
We provide a confidential and free consultation. Please contact us today to discuss your car accident injury case.