The common soundbyte is that cell phones equipped with the internet and texting have created a distracted driving problem. And to a large extent, they are right. We have certainly seen a rise in distracted driving accidents.
The Holton Law Firm has represented numerous injured persons who were hit by a distracted driver who was focusing their attention on their phone instead of the road. Whether they were texting, dialing, scrolling through social media, or taking a selfie, in that moment, their focus and awareness were not properly on the road. Many times, when these accidents get litigated, the insurance companies will try to defend their case by insisting that the driver was still focused on the road. On numerous occasions, the Holton Law Firm has subpoena'd phone records to prove that the driver was in fact using their phone at the precise time of the accident.
Distracted driving is not an entirely new phenomenon though. We can all recall seeing a driver eating a breakfast sandwich or adding cream and sugar to their coffee all while driving with their knees. Maybe you have witnessed a driver grooming themselves or applying makeup in a rear view mirror while driving. You might have even seen a driver attempting to read a map, newspaper or book while barreling down the road. We have represented individuals who were injured by drivers who dropped an object, such as a drink or a cd, and bent down to try to retrieve the object from the floorboard but lost control of their vehicle. All of these amount to distracted driving.
These distractions seem obvious, but the modern age has created a more fast-paced lifestyle. It seems that modern business demands access to a phone and email at all times. From this fast-paced perspective, driving becomes an "idle" time which should be filled with other activities that need to be accomplished during the day. It is important to remember that this type of mentality, while commonplace, can be dangerous.