Texting while behind the wheel can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. But unlike alcohol-related accidents, there’s no test that can be conducted at the scene to prove a motorist was texting. As such, attorneys must resort to other forms of evidence to prove negligence, much of which can be difficult to obtain without applying legal pressure.
If you turn to a well-credentialed law firm, you won’t have to worry about filing subpoenas and navigating complicated legal proceedings on your own. Your car accident lawyer can take over the logistics and collect all relevant evidence including:
- Cell Phone Records: Since the at-fault driver’s carrier is unlikely to turn over their records voluntarily, it may be necessary to serve a subpoena. These records often serve as key evidence of fault in distracted driving accident cases.
- Dash Cam Footage: Nowadays, it’s fairly common for drivers to have a dash cam on their windshield. That means even if you don’t have a dash cam in your car, there might have been one in a car near the scene, and it may have captured the liable motorist texting just prior to the wreck. If you obtained the names and phone numbers of any drivers who stopped to provide assistance, your attorney can reach out to them and ask if such footage is available.
- Eyewitness Testimony: If the collision occurred in a highly congested area, a nearby motorist, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian may have actually seen the at-fault driver using his or her phone just before the accident. While the courts do not consider eyewitness testimony to be indisputable evidence of fault, it may corroborate other kinds of evidence to paint a clear picture of what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.
- Social Media Posts: Perhaps the liable motorist wasn’t texting behind the wheel but instead was writing a social media post. In this scenario, screenshots of the time-stamped posts could be valuable evidence.
- Surveillance Recordings: If the accident happened in a somewhat developed area, there’s a decent chance it was captured by surveillance cameras near the scene. And if it was, there may be footage of the at-fault driver using a cellphone behind the wheel.
- The Official Police Report: If the liable motorist told responding officers that he or she had been using a phone prior to the wreck, their report should state as much. And even if there was no outright admission of fault, the police who drafted the report might have had reason to believe distracted driving played a role in the accident and recorded their suspicions in the report.
Why Is Texting While Driving So Dangerous?
When you’re behind the wheel, paying attention to anything but the road ahead is unsafe; however, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it forces you to take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, and your focus off traffic.
Manual distractions, or those that take your hands off the wheel, can hinder your ability to complete evasive maneuvers in time to avoid a crash. They also increase the likelihood of swerving off the road or into oncoming traffic. Some of the most common manual distractions include applying make-up, eating, and adjusting the stereo.
Visual distractions, on the other hand, are those that take your eyes off the road. Glancing down at your phone for just a few seconds to read or type a text could be enough to result in a devastating collision. Other common visual distractions include checking the navigation system and turning around to talk to passengers.
Finally, cognitive distractions are those that shift your focus to something other than the task of driving. Cognitive distractions affect your ability to respond in time should a hazard arise. Common examples include listening to podcasts or audiobooks and daydreaming.
Although California allows drivers over the age of 18 to use hands-free devices, doing so is still a cognitive distraction. For this reason, it’s wise to stash your phone safely in the center console or glovebox when you get in the car and to leave it there until you reach your destination.
Alternatively, there are apps available that can silence certain notifications when you’re driving. Some apps can also send auto-responses to notify people that you’re driving. There are even apps that parents can install on their teens’ cellphones to monitor their cellphone use behind the wheel.
Below are a few examples of safe-driving apps that include features to deter texting while driving:
Call (562) 206-1939 for a Free Consultation with a Long Beach Car Accident Attorney
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
If you were hurt in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact the Law Office of Michael D. Waks. With more than 30 years in legal practice, Michael D. Waks has extensive experience representing people who have been injured or lost family members in car accidents with distracted motorists. He understands the adversity you’re facing and will use all the resources at his disposal to help you fight for a fair settlement.
We’re available 24/7 to take your call. If you cannot come to us, we will come to you. The initial consultation is free, and you won’t have to pay any attorney’s fees unless we win your case through a settlement or trial verdict. Dial (562) 206-1939 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in Long Beach.
Download Our Car Accident Emergency .PDF and Keep It in Your Glovebox
Car accident scenes are inherently stressful and chaotic. It can be challenging to maintain your composure, but doing so is essential if you want to strengthen your personal injury claim. That’s why we developed a Car Accident Emergency .PDF to help drivers gather the information they’ll need to file their claim and prove liability. Click here to download it for free, and don’t forget to put a copy in your vehicle’s glove compartment.
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