In today’s fast-paced mobile culture, every moment is a chance for your attention to be diverted. An important email landing in your inbox. The chime of a text from a significant other. “Likes” racking up on your social media posts. It’s no surprise that a recent survey conducted by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission found that cellphone use is the number one reason people are driving distracted.
But it’s not just a problem with people not giving their full attention – it’s becoming a real threat. Deaths related to distracted driving are up 32% from 2014-15. Additionally, nearly 10% of the population at any given time is distracted while driving. That figure alone should frighten drivers, whether they’re the ones doing the texting or not.
Texting and talking on a phone while driving dramatically decreases the response time of the driver, which is why Washington is among the numerous states that is now considering increasing the penalties for driving while distracted and further limiting the use of cellphones while driving. The Washington State legislature is considering prohibiting the use of apps such as Facebook and Instagram with the tentatively titled “Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act”. The new law would also have cell phone tickets reported to insurance carriers, which would inevitably cause people’s insurance rates to increase if they got a ticket for using a cell phone while driving.
To best protect yourself and others, it’s best to put the phone down when you’re on the road. It’s a simple principle that we all know, but a harder habit to break than it may sound like – fudging the rules when you need to enter something in your maps app or change the song streaming to your speakers. Many new cars come equipped with volume controls and voice commands so you don’t have to reach for your phone. Even if you’re in an older model, there are plenty of bluetooth and handless devices you can invest in. The $20-50 spent on a headset is a way better deal than an expensive traffic citation.
Maybe you’ve done everything right and have committed to staying off your phone when the keys are in the ignition. You still might end up the victim of a distracted driver. The best thing you can do here, is use the law to your advantage and make sure your car and health insurance is taken care of properly. We regularly have clients tell us that the person who hit them admitted to being distracted. Usually it involves clients that get rear-ended. It’s important in these situations that you try to stay vigilant, even when the circumstances are stressful and move rapidly. If you are hit by someone who was likely distracted by a device or something else, take note of what they say. Write it down and see if you can grab a witness nearby. This could be extremely helpful later on to prove liability on the driver.
Should you find yourself in a car accident – with a distracted driver or some other circumstances – we’re here to help. We have a proven history of getting into a case at any stage and making sure you get what you’re due from the insurance companies. If you want to discuss your options and figure out how to resolve your car accident case, give us a call or text us today.