According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. Police officers in Maryland and across the country have been encouraged to do their part via more aggressive ticketing of drivers who are using their mobile devices while driving.
The campaign, launched in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also contains an educational component. Through statistical and fact sheets on the NHTSA’s website, readers can learn about the heavy toll in injuries caused by distracted driving. In addition, $5 million has been set aside to promote the campaign through television, radio and digital advertising.
According to the NHTSA’s website, 16 percent of motor vehicle accidents in 2013 were attributed to distracted driving. Of course, an attorney that focuses on personal injury and motor vehicle lawsuits knows that distraction can be caused by more than just smartphone use behind the wheel. Every driver has an obligation to obey traffic laws and practice safe driving by remaining alert to traffic patterns and road conditions. Doing activities that interfere with that duty of care could be viewed as negligence in the eyes of a jury.
In forty-five states, including Maryland, text messaging behind the wheel is banned for drivers. Yet are authorities able to adequately enforce this law? Many readers might admit to occasional text messaging while driving when they don’t want to miss a communication. Yet even such sporadic, infrequent texting and driving could lead to tragic results.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to consult with an attorney. Proving negligent driving caused by text messaging before a jury may not be as easy as you might think, especially when the offending driver puts up resistance and a strong defense. Our law firm focuses on auto accidents and can evaluate your potential car accident injury case with a free consultation. Our experience may reveal insights into the type of evidence and strategy needed to present a compelling case to the jury.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Campaign Cracks Down on Distracted Driving,” Jose Alberto Ucles, April 2, 2015