Imagine driving along a busy highway, surrounded by other vehicles moving at high speeds. Suddenly, your phone buzzes with a notification, tempting you to take a quick glance. Your attention shifts from the road to your device in that split second. This scenario illustrates the alarming issue of distracted driving.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving and poses a significant risk to road safety in the state.
Types of Distracted Driving
The following are examples of the different types of distracted driving. Understanding and identifying these various forms of distractions is crucial to address and mitigate the risks they pose on the road.
- Texting and Smartphone Usage
One of the primary culprits behind distracted driving accidents is texting and smartphone usage. Reading or sending text messages diverts attention from the road and significantly impairs a driver’s ability to react to potential hazards.
- Other Common Distractions
While texting and smartphone usage take the spotlight as leading causes of distracted driving, several other common distractions contribute to accidents in Maryland. These seemingly harmless distractions can have severe consequences when they divert a driver’s attention from the task at hand.
- Eating and Drinking: It may be tempting to grab a quick snack or sip on a drink while on the go, but these activities take a driver’s focus away from the road.
- Grooming Activities: Applying makeup, shaving, or grooming oneself while driving is unsafe and takes a driver’s attention away from the road.
- Adjusting In-Vehicle Technology: Adjusting settings, such as GPS navigation or audio systems, can be distracting.
- Engaging in Conversations: Conversations with passengers can be enjoyable but they can also divert a driver’s attention.
- External Distractions: The external environment also poses distractions to drivers. Billboards, scenery, or even accidents on the side of the road can capture a driver’s attention, drawing their eyes away from the road ahead.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
The consequences of distracted driving are far-reaching and severe. To address this critical issue, Maryland has established laws and penalties to deter distracted driving. Drivers caught using cell phones face fines, the addition of points to their driving record, and potentially even jail time if their actions lead to a severe accident. By enforcing these consequences, the state aims to raise awareness and encourage drivers to prioritize safety behind the wheel.
Steps to Take After a Distracted Driving Incident
Experiencing a distracted driving incident can be overwhelming, but taking the proper steps afterward is crucial to protect your rights and seek the appropriate help. If you find yourself involved in such an incident, follow these steps:
- Ensure Safety: Prioritize your safety and the safety of others involved. Move to a safe location away from traffic, and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
- Seek Medical Attention: Assess yourself and others for injuries and call for medical assistance if needed. Even if you don’t have visible injuries, it is important to get checked by a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying issues.
- Contact Law Enforcement: Report the incident to the police and provide them with accurate and detailed information. This will help document the event and be valuable when seeking legal assistance.
- Gather Information: Collect important information from the scene, such as the names, contact details, and insurance information of all parties involved. Additionally, gather the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the incident.
- Document the Scene: Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including any vehicle damage and the surrounding area. This evidence can be valuable when filing an insurance claim or seeking legal recourse.
- Report to Your Insurance Company: Immediately notify your insurance provider about the incident. Provide them with accurate details and cooperate with their investigation process.
- Consult with a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer: Seek legal advice from an experienced distracted driving accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Kim Parker. They can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help you pursue any claims or compensation you may be entitled to.
- Preserve Evidence: Preserve any evidence related to the incident, including medical records, repair receipts, and communication with insurance companies. This evidence can strengthen your case if you decide to pursue legal action.
- Follow Legal Guidance: Work closely with your lawyer to navigate the legal process. They will help you understand your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and potentially represent you in court if necessary.
Remember, each case is unique, and the steps may vary depending on the specific circumstances. Seeking professional legal guidance is crucial to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive the proper assistance throughout the process. If you are involved in a distracted driving accident or charged with an offense, seeking legal services from The Law Offices of Kim Parker, Baltimore Car Accident Attorneys, will ensure that your rights are protected, and you receive the proper legal representation.