Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

Phoenix Distracted Driving Lawyer for Your Accident Claim

Distracted driving is a major problem in Arizona. Each year, thousands of accidents occur as a result of drivers talking, texting and giving in to other distractions while behind the wheel. Distracted drivers need to be held accountable. If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident in Arizona, you should discuss your legal rights and options with an experienced Phoenix car accident lawyer.

Any activity that takes your attention away from driving is considered a distraction. If a distracted driver is responsible for causing your injuries, or if you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else losing focus while behind the wheel, you may be entitled to a financial recovery for your losses. Contact the personal injury law firm of Hirsch & Lyon at (602) 535-1900 today to discuss your case.

Hirsch & Lyon Infographic - Top 5 Driving Distractions Involved in Car Accidents

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Top 5 Driving Distractions Involved in Phoenix Car Accidents

Distracted driving is a leading cause of serious and fatal car accidents in Arizona. If you were injured in an accident caused by any of the following, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

1. Handheld Cell Phone Use

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at any point during the day, close to half a million drivers are using their phones behind the wheel.

2. Hands-Free Cell Phone Use

Despite the push to legislate against handheld cell phone use, data from the National Safety Council (NSC) suggest that hands-free talking and texting can be just as dangerous.

3. In-Car Navigation and Infotainment Systems

While cars, trucks and SUVS are more technologically-advanced than ever before, many of the new in-car technology systems actually present greater risks for distracted driving.

4. Passengers

From chatty friends up front to young children in the back, interacting with passengers can take drivers’ eyes and minds off of the road.

5. Rubbernecking

Accidents, construction sites, billboards and other out-of-vehicle distractions can cause drivers to lose sight of the task at hand as well.

Liability for Distracted Driving — What Will My Attorney Need to Prove?

Drivers must pay attention to the road as they operate their vehicle.  Failure to do so could expose others to an unreasonable risk of injury and may allow the injured persons to bring an action against the distracted driver for damages.

To successfully sue and recover for injuries sustained due to a distracted driver, you must show that the defendant was actually distracted at the time of the accident and that the distraction contributed substantially to the accident’s occurrence.  Whether the driver was truly “distracted” is a fact-based, circumstantial assessment. That being the case, the courts will compare what constitutes a distraction to the average, reasonably prudent individual (similarly situated to the defendant).

For example, if the defendant is a seasoned delivery truck driver with a commercial license, then the standard for what qualifies as a distraction may be higher than the average person.  By contrast, if the defendant is a 20-something who was tapping through their music playlist while driving, then the courts will be much more likely to determine that the defendant was distracted by such behavior.

If you believe that you may have an actionable claim against the defendant for distracted driving, we encourage you to contact an experienced Phoenix distracted driver lawyer here at Hirsch & Lyon.  We exclusively handle motor vehicle accident claims and routinely litigate claims centered around distracted driving issues.

Arizona Law Regarding Cell Phone Use While Driving

On April 18, 2019, Arizona enacted into law Section 28-914 of the Arizona Statutes, which prohibits the use of a cell phone while driving.  The law is comprehensive in that it prohibits any and all kinds of cell phone use: talking, texting, browsing, app-use, and more.  However, exceptions are made for using a cell phone hands-free.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a driver who was operating a vehicle while using their cell phone, then that behavior will almost certainly qualify as a violation of Section 28-914, unless the defendant has a relevant defense (i.e., they were using the cell phone hands-free and not distracted by such use).  In Arizona, the violation of a traffic regulation — such as Section 28-914 — is negligence per se.  In other words, the defendant is automatically negligent for having violated the law.  You simply have to show that their negligence is what caused the accident at issue.

A primary challenge in proving liability for distracted driving based on cell phone use is in presenting clear evidence that the defendant-driver was, in fact, using their cell phone at the time of the accident.  A skilled Phoenix distracted driver attorney can help you in this regard by gathering cell phone records and data usage information that can indicate when and how the defendant was using their cell phone at the time.

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