Protecting the Rights
of Injury Victims

Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

Accidents caused by drivers lost in thought

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Bad things tend to happen more often when drivers in Florida and around the country allow their minds to wander. Most people know that using a cellphone to access the internet or send text messages while operating a motor vehicle can be extremely dangerous, but they rarely consider that other activities can lead to an accident just as quickly if they cause drivers to take their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road.

Lost in thought

When researchers from a leading auto insurance company surveyed American drivers about distraction in 2018, they discovered that daydreaming was a bigger problem than cellphone use. The results of the study suggest that drivers who were lost in thought were involved in more than 2,000 motor vehicle accidents each year. Many of these accidents are serious because distracted drivers react more slowly and tend to crash at higher speeds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about eight road users are killed in distracted driving accidents each day in the United States.

Common distractions

A motor vehicle traveling at 55 mph covers about 100 yards in just five seconds. Few drivers would willingly close their eyes for several seconds while traveling at highway speeds, but looking away from the road to pick up a cup of coffee or change a radio station could be just as deadly. According to the CDC, this kind of behavior claimed more than 2,800 lives in 2018 alone. About a quarter of the drivers involved in fatal distracted driving accidents are under the age of 30, and one in five of their victims are pedestrians or cyclists.

Suing distracted drivers

Police officers conduct breath tests to find out if motorists are impaired, but there is no test for distraction. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and the facts suggest that the driver responsible may have been distracted, an experienced personal injury attorney may use a subpoena to obtain their cellphone records. An attorney could also seek to gather the electronic information that most modern cars store on devices similar to an aircraft black box. This data could reveal how fast vehicles were traveling prior to a collision and whether or not their drivers applied their brakes.


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