According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents involving distracted drivers caused the deaths of over 2,800 people in 2018. Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 15 percent of all accidents in 2018 were partially or fully caused by distracted driving.
Types of distracted driving
There are many ways a driver can get distracted while behind the wheel. There are three main types of distracted driving:
- Visual distractions – Distractions that cause a driver to stop looking at the road.
- Manual distractions – Distractions that force you to take your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive distractions – Distractions that take your focus away from driving.
Most common forms of distracted driving fit under at least one of the above categories, but many forms fit under two or even all three of the categories. Some of the most common forms of distracted driving include:
- Using a cell phone to text, post on social media, surf the internet, or send emails
- Conversations on the phone or with passengers in the vehicle
- Eating and/or drinking
- Adjusting the air conditioner
- Adjusting the radio or GPS
- Reaching to get something from the backseat
- Fixing your hair or makeup or changing clothes
What should I do if I was injured in a distracted driving accident?
As the victim of a distracted driving car accident, you have a couple of options when it comes to recovering damages for your accident-related expenses. New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that you may be entitled to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits to cover your medical expenses and lost wages under your automobile insurance policy, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
However, if you suffered permanent disability or serious injury, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the distracted driver to recover damages for your pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages. A personal injury attorney can help you decide what steps to take after your accident to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.