Distracted Driving Accidents In Michigan
In the past decade, more than 34,000 car accidents in Michigan have occurred as a result of distracted drivers. According to Michigan Live, more than 9,000 of these crashes involved the use of cell phones. The remaining crashes involved various other distractions behind the wheel.
Distracted driving accidents are a very real concern, not just in Michigan but also in the entire United States. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,474 people died in 2009 as a result of drivers’ failure to pay proper attention to the road.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Michigan distracted driving accident, you may have legal recourse against the driver who caused your injuries. The auto accident lawyers at The Stroble Law Firm will stand up for you if you’ve suffered a personal injury in a car accident caused by the distracted driving of another motorist. If there is no recovery in your case, there is no fee for our services.
Causes of Michigan Distracted Driving Accidents
Cell phones typically get the most attention when it comes to distracted driving accidents. Young drivers are more likely than older drivers to be involved in car crashes related to cell phones. Approximately half of the drivers involved in cell phone-related crashes were under the age of 20.
Although 18-year-olds were the worst, according to Michigan Live, older drivers are also commonly involved in cell phone-related crashes as well. An estimated one-third of drivers using a cell phone at the time of a car crash were between ages 30 and 40, while the oldest driver to be involved in a cell-phone related crash in Michigan was 97 years old.
It comes as no surprise that the problem of cell phone use is not limited to the young, as Distraction.gov reports that, at any given time, an estimated 660,000 drivers throughout the U.S. are using their phones while behind the wheel.
Of course, while cell phones are a major cause of distracted driving collisions, they are not the only cause of these types of accidents. Other possible types of distracted driving accidents include:
- Talking to or paying attention to passengers while driving instead of focusing on the road. This can be a major problem in situations where there are young children in the car that parents are focusing on or when groups of teens are driving together.
- Adjusting the music or the vehicle controls. Drivers often look away when changing the CD or the song on their iPod, when adjusting the heat or air conditioning or when otherwise interacting with the controls in the car.
- Eating, drinking, smoking or putting on makeup. All of these behaviors not only result in taking the eyes off the road, but also necessitate taking at least one hand off of the wheel.
- Using a navigation system or a map. Entering information into your GPS when driving also causes you to take your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. Even looking at old-fashioned maps can be dangerous.
- Reaching for objects in the car. Drivers may take their eyes off the road and their hands off the steering wheel if something falls in the vehicle or if they need to access something from the back of the car or the passenger side.
- Watching a movie or reading. More and more cars are equipped with DVD players and electronic devices and drivers may be too focused on these devices and not focused enough on driving safely.
These and other behaviors where a driver looks away from the road or fails to pay attention can create a very dangerous situation. Other drivers, pedestrians, bike riders and motorcycle riders are all at risk when a driver focuses on something other than operating his vehicle in a safe way.
What to Do If You are Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident
If you are involved in a distracted driving accident, it is important that you contact law enforcement right away to get a report of the accident. It is also important that you get the contact information from witnesses at the scene. Many drivers do not admit that they were distracted when operating their vehicle, and you will need to have as much evidence as you can to prove that they were negligent.
Michigan is a no-fault car accident state, which means that you won’t be able to make a claim against a distracted driver for minor injuries but will instead recover compensation for medical costs and lost wages through your personal injury protection. However, if you have suffered serious, expensive or permanent injuries or if you have lost a loved one in a distracted driving accident, then you can take action to collect compensation from the person who harmed you.
Get Help from Our Michigan Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you could have a legal right to obtain compensation. But you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, so it’s important to contact a car accident lawyer without delay. We will handle the necessary paperwork to make sure you don’t miss the deadline. If you have been injured in a car accident, we can help you and your family to obtain a fair settlement.
We respond promptly to telephone calls and report regularly on developments in cases. Call Michigan Injury Lawyers at 313-438-4357 or contact us online. If there is no recovery in your case, there is no fee for our services.