Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys in Dothan, AL
The menace of distracted driving leads to many fatalities in the US each year. Countless people also sustain injuries due to distracted driving accidents annually. If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driving crash, you may be entitled to claim damages against the driver liable for the accidents and seek compensation.
The Hazards of Distracted Driving
Driving a vehicle is a dynamic pursuit and one which necessitates attentiveness and responsiveness. In case you get distracted and take your focus off the road, even for a few seconds, you risk crashing your automobile into another individual or car.
According to experts, using a mobile phone to speak to someone, to text someone, or to watch a video is undoubtedly one of the most hazardous things you can do when operating a vehicle.
Besides using a mobile to talk or text someone, the most common reasons for distracted driving are:
- Eating and drinking
- Watching a video
- Engaging in conversation with passengers
- Grooming (shaving, applying makeup, brushing teeth, trimming, and so forth)
- Adjusting the radio, CD player, GPS, MP3 player, or any other control in the automobile
- Reaching or searching for an object under the motorist’s seat or in another seat
- Taking your hands off the steering wheel and focus off the road to attend to a kid or pet
Data shows that young people are especially prone to talk, text, or get distracted in a variety of other ways while operating an automobile. They tend to overestimate their response time, reflexes, and driving capabilities due to which they wrongly believe that taking the eyes off the road for a few seconds is not a huge deal.
However, it is an undoubtedly big mistake as a few seconds of misjudgment on the road can put your life, as well as the lives of others, at risk.
The Perils of Cognitive Distraction
It is vital to understand that the term ‘distracted driving’ is not merely applicable to manual (hands off the wheel) or visual (eyes off the road) distractions and encompasses cognitive (mentally inattentive driving) distractions as well.
For instance, many individuals believe that they can drive safely and communicate with others simultaneously using hands-free devices. But experts warn that this is inadvisable. You can get distracted if you are focused on your conversation with another person, even if you are visually focused on the road, and your hands are on the steering wheel.
The same rules are applicable to listening to an audiobook or listening to a podcast when behind the wheel. You may get distracted, without even realizing it, when you are excessively focused on the content you are listening to.
In some ways, cognitive distractions are more hazardous in comparison to visual or manual disturbances. Upon using your mobile device or speaking to the passengers in the vehicle when driving, you at least have an awareness of the fact that you are performing an activity you are not supposed to undertake.
If a distracted driver hits you, you could suffer from severe injuries with long-term effects. Besides the mental and physical damages, you also have to handle medical and rehabilitation expenses.
Alabama Regulations against Texting while Driving
Alabama is the 38th state to ban texting when operating a vehicle, and the state passed this law in 2012. In 2019, a bill was proposed that could have potentially made it illegal for all motorists to use handheld mobile phones.
However, it was unable to become law after passing through the State House as it did not receive the necessary approval in the Senate. This means that handheld mobile phone use is still permissible, at least for now.
As of now, the state of Alabama only forbids the following:
- Internet-use and text messaging by all motorists
- The use of any type of mobile phone (even hands-free) by motorists below the age of 18 years
Distracted Driving Fines in Alabama
Alabama has some of the lowest fines in the country for distracted driving. A cellphone or texting citation for drivers under the age of 18 years is considered a traffic violation. Such a breach includes fines between $150 and $350, as well as adds two points to the offender’s driving record.
Victims of Accidents by Distracted Drivers
If you have been injured in a car crash, the first action step is to get medical assistance and inform the authorities. After doing so, you should consult a distracted driving accident lawyer as soon as you can.
In comparison to a DUI accident, gathering evidence to establish the at-fault motorist’s negligence in a distracted driving accident is more challenging. Therefore, the sooner you contact a lawyer, the more time they will have to gather the necessary evidence.
You should ensure that the lawyer you engage is adept at Alabama’s personal injury laws as well as has a proven track record of recovering significant amounts of damages for their clients.
Legal Assistance for Victims of Distracted Driving
The skilled personal injury lawyers at the law offices of Smith & McGhee are devoted to assisting distracted driving accident victims. On your behalf, we can file a case with the distracted driver’s insurer or file a claim against the distracted driver. We will make sure that you receive the rightful compensation for all the monetary and emotional losses due to the injuries suffered in the crash.
If you or someone you know has been in a distracted driving accident, call (334) 702-1744 to schedule a detailed case review.