Little Rock Injury Attorneys Handling Distracted Driving Claims
Holding irresponsible drivers in Arkansas accountable
Today’s cars and trucks are full of new technology and gadgets. Many drivers might be tempted to multi-task behind the wheel, getting a false sense of security from all the new safety features new vehicles offer. This takes their mind off driving and puts everyone else on the road at risk for accidents and injuries.
The numbers are overwhelming. Distracted driving is a leading cause of the deaths and injuries on America’s highways. According to Teensafe, distracted driving accounts for one fourth of all motor vehicle deaths. Distracted driving is responsible for more than one half of all teen crashes. These numbers are likely on the low side since there’s no direct way, such as with a blood alcohol test, to test whether a driver was distracted while driving.
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our experienced Little Rock car accident attorneys work quickly and aggressively to determine if a driver that caused your accident was texting while driving, eating lunch while driving, or had his/her hands off the wheel for any reason. In distracted driving cases, we often demand punitive damages in addition to demanding payment for pain and suffering and economic losses. There is simply no excuse for driving while distracted.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is an action or inaction that takes a driver’s:
- Eyes off the road
- Hands of the wheel
- Mind away from handling any traffic emergencies
If a car or truck driver is distracted, it can take seconds (or more) for the driver to respond to an emergency. Cars traveling 60 mph are traveling 88 feet per second. This means that in those few seconds it takes to respond, a car can travel a whole football field – causing all sorts of accidents, fatalities, and injuries.
Examples of distracted driving
Drivers can be distracted for many reasons, including:
- Texting while driving
- Talking on a smartphone while driving
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Watching a video while operating a vehicle
- Focusing on a child or a passenger in the car
- Looking at a GPS system
- Lighting a cigarette
- Grooming oneself while driving
- Adjusting the radio or CD player
Drunk driving is also a form of distracted driving.
Distracted driving laws in Arkansas
Arkansas statute 27-51-1504 is called, “Paul’s Law: To Prohibit Drivers of Motor Vehicles from Using Handheld Wireless Telephones to Engage in Text Messaging.” The law regulates texting while driving in Arkansas.
The law provides, “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not use a handheld wireless telephone for wireless interactive communication while operating a motor vehicle.” Exceptions are allowed for emergencies. Exceptions are also authorized for law enforcement, firefighters, ambulance drivers, and emergency medical technicians.
Additionally, Arkansas has a law that specifically targets distracted driving called the “Fewer Distractions Mean Safer Driving Act.” The law restricts cell phone operation while driving a vehicle. The requirements are adjusted to focus more on teen drivers and young drivers than adult drivers:
- Drivers under 18 years of age. Teen drivers can’t use a wireless communication device of any type while driving, unless there is an emergency.
- Drivers between 18 and 21 years of age. These drivers can’t use a handheld wireless communications device except for emergencies. They can, however, use voice-activated devices.
- Drivers 21 years of age and older. There is generally no restriction on using a mobile device (handheld or voice activated).
Drivers of any age are prohibited from using a mobile device while driving through a school zone or in a construction area.
Distracted drivers can be charged with speeding, going through a red light or stop sign, reckless driving, or other traffic violations depending on how the accident occurred. In accidents involving fatalities, they could even be charged with negligent homicide.
Do I have to prove distracted driving caused my Little Rock car crash?
The essence of a car accident case is to prove the other driver was negligent – that they failed to use proper care under the circumstances and that lack of care caused the accident.
Distracted driving can be a key element in proving negligence in a personal injury claim. Experienced distracted driving lawyers work aggressively to prove a driver was distracted and that the distraction caused the accident. This means:
- Demanding the right to examine any smartphones or electronic devices
- Questioning all the witnesses in the car
- Questioning the driver about his/her route and what they were doing before the accident
Many other questions will be asked to show a driver was distracted, depending on how the accident occurred.
Caring help when distracted driving injures or kills a loved one in Arkansas
There’s no excuse for distracted driving. Drivers can wait until they finish their route to make a phone call, check the internet, eat their sandwich, or drink their beverage. Routes should be planned before drivers get in the car. Parents who own the vehicle their teen is driving should be held accountable for the teen’s distracted driving. For help with any distracted case, call the experienced Little Rock distracted driving accident attorneys at Bailey & Greer, PLLC. We have a strong track record of success negotiating just settlements and trying cases before judges and juries. Make an appointment by phoning 501-213-1512 or filling out our contact form.