Are Cell Phones Like Drugs & Alcohol When it comes to Accidents?

Cell Phones and Accidents

It seems that everyone you see walking these days is distracted by their cellphone. Everywhere you look, people are checking their social media, gabbing next to you on the metro (not to you, to someone on the other line), and/or texting. We have seen people walking and texting and not paying attention to traffic or other things pedestrians should be aware of, such as other people around them. According to the CDC, "each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver." 

These zombie-like pedestrians who are engrossed in their cell phones are called "dead walkers." This Washington Post article reports that the American Academy of Orthpaedic Surgeons has found that 60% of pedestrians are distracted while walking on the street (in 2015). Two years later, the numbers could be even higher.

Are we addicted to our mobile devices?

No matter what the cause, distraction makes for a dangerous driving environment. Being distracted behind the wheel or while walking on the sidewalk heightens the possibility that you will get hurt or cause someone else to get hurt: and significantly so.

This morning (in Maryland) I watched a semi-truck completely block the pedestrian crosswalk: and a woman walked around the semi and potentially into oncoming traffic just so she could cross the street. I see this happen often in Washington, DC: neither the pedestrians nor the drivers are respecting the traffic laws. I've seen people even play "Frogger" with oncoming traffic: unwilling to wait for the crosswalk to provide a "walk" sign (which would have taken all of thirty seconds). This behavior could have serious and dire consequences.

The attorneys at Donahoe Kearney know that distracted drivers and distracted pedestrians can cause accidents. Some studies compare distracted driving - texting, talking on the phone while driving - to drunk driving in terms of dangerous behavior.  But many people who would never drink and drive (or don't even drink) will text, check email and send updates while walking in crowded crosswalks or from behind the wheel.

How do you prove that someone was distracted while driving? When the police come, they should investigate - asking the other driver and witnesses about the cell phone use.  Later, you get the cell phone records with a subpoena - all of the major carriers have a process for this.  We've been able to accurately time events through cell phone records in serious injury cases in D.C.

If one of these distracted drivers caused an accident where you were injured in our area, we can help in getting you the compensation you deserve to make up for the harms the distracted driver caused. We can help you get things like your medical treatment, surgery costs, hospital bills, lost income, and money for future medical treatment. If you have a permanent, lifelong injury we can also help you get money for the long-term income you've lost as a result.  

Learn more about what to do after a serious accident in D.C., Maryland or Virginia by downloading a copy of our e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in the DMV.  It should help you get started (and if the injuries are minor, will help you decide whether you even need a lawyer).

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