Do you need a distracted driving car accident lawyer in Phoenix? Many of today’s accidents are caused by driver inattention and distraction, which is a common and growing problem in Arizona.
If you sustained significant injuries in a distracted driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The knowledgeable distracted driving accident attorneys of Silkman Law Firm Accident & Injury Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ can help you file a claim to pursue money for your injuries and other accident-related losses.
Contact our personal injury lawyers today for your free initial consultation to learn more about your legal options after you’ve been injured in a distracted driving accident.
Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents in Phoenix
There are many different types of distractions that can contribute to a car accident.
Experts typically sort distractions into the three following categories:
- Visual distractions – A visual distraction is anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off of the road. Common visual distractions include reading text messages, checking one’s reflection in the mirror, looking at maps, and focusing on external stimuli such as billboards or other accidents.
- Manual distractions – A manual distraction is anything that causes a driver to take one or both hands off the steering wheel. Common manual distractions include typing or scrolling through text messages, applying make-up, personal grooming, consuming food or beverages, adjusting vehicle controls, and helping passengers.
- Cognitive distractions – A cognitive distraction is anything that takes a driver’s mental focus away from the task of safe driving. Common cognitive distractions include composing text messages, talking on the phone, focusing on interactions with passengers, and daydreaming.
One of the greatest causes of distracted driving accidents is texting and driving, According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving because it combines cognitive, visual, and manual distractions in a single activity. Studies suggest it takes about five seconds to read or send the average text message, which is long enough to drive the length of a football field at just 55 miles per hour.
How Many Accidents Are Caused by Distracted Driving Each Year in Arizona?
According to the Arizona Chapter of the National Safety Council, there were 57,514 reported crashes involving some form of distracted driving in a single recent year. These crashes resulted in 15,689 injuries and 810 fatalities. Experts suggest that distracted driving tends to be underreported, so the actual distracted driving statistics are likely much higher.
During that same year, more than 5,000 of all reported distracted driving crashes involved electronic distractions, such as texting while driving. Reported crashes involving electronic distractions resulted in 1,609 injuries and 18 fatalities.
In another recent year, the Arizona Department of Transportation reported there were 8,110 distracted driving crashes, accounting for 4.3 percent of statewide crashes that year.
Among these crashes:
- 2.1% (168 crashes) involved talking on a hands-free device
- 3.7% (298 crashes) involved talking on a handheld device
- 7.9% (639 crashes) involved manually operating an electronic device
- 12% (967 crashes) involved other electronic device activity
- 7.6% (614 crashes) involved interacting with a passenger
- 26.9% (2,182 crashes) involved internal distractions, such as eating or drinking
- 22.8% (1,853 crashes) involved external distractions
- 17.1% (1,389 crashes) involved unknown distractions
Arizona Laws on Distracted Driving
In January 2021, Arizona’s “Hands-Off Law” went into effect. Under this law, it is unlawful to use stand-alone electronic devices while driving, unless they are used hands-free. Stand-alone electronic devices include things like cell phones, tablets, gaming devices, and music devices.
The statewide ban, which replaced 26 different local ordinances, makes it illegal to drive while:
- Holding or supporting an electronic device with your body
- Reading, writing or sending a message on a device
- Scrolling through social media
- Watching or recording videos
- Using the device in any way that causes a distraction and requires the use of your body
However, it is still legal to drive while using an electronic device for the following:
- Starting or ending a hands-free function, such as starting a GPS route or answering a phone call
- Talking hands-free
- Vehicle navigation
- Seeking help or reporting a crime in an emergency
Keep in mind that texting while driving is now a primary offense in Arizona. The new rule allows police officers to pull you over for texting and driving, even if you’re not violating any other laws. If convicted of a texting-while-driving offense, you could face up to $149 in fines for a first-time offense and up to $250 in subsequent offenses.
If you were involved in a crash that resulted in serious injury or death while in violation of the texting-while-driving ban, you could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents in Phoenix
Distracted driving accidents can result in serious and potentially life-threatening injuries, such as the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
- Broken bones
- Amputation and loss of limb
- Bruises, burns, and lacerations
- Neck and back injuries
- Abdominal injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
What to Do After an Accident Caused by a Distracted Driver
If you were involved in a Phoenix car accident caused by a distracted driver, you can protect your legal rights and your ability to recover compensation by the following:
- Seeking prompt medical attention for your injuries
- Following your doctor’s prescribed care plan
- Attending all follow-up medical appointments
- Gathering evidence such as photos and witness statements from the scene
- Keeping track of medical bills and documentation of other accident-related losses
- Refusing to provide written or recorded statements to the insurance company
- Avoiding social media activity while your claim is pending
- Contacting a knowledgeable distracted driving car accident lawyer for help
Talk to Our Experienced Distracted Driving Attorneys in Phoenix, AZ Today
If you’re the victim of a distracted driving accident in Phoenix, don’t hesitate to contact Silkman Law Firm Accident & Injury Lawyer as soon as possible. Our legal team is here to support you. We can help you understand your rights and how much your claim could be worth in your free initial case review.