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Abels & Annes, P.C. Personal Injury Blog

Distracted Driving: The Number 1 Cause of Phoenix Car Accidents

Collisions. Crashes. Accidents. No matter what you call them, you should be aware of their risks if you drive in the Phoenix area. With our swelling population, sprawling Valley, and stop-and-go traffic conditions, a typical driver in the area is unlikely to go many days in a row without witnessing the fallout from a car accident. If you are lucky, you will not be a victim of a crash and will only experience slowed driving times or congestion due to these accidents. If you are unlucky, you may suffer from the actions of another driver and may sustain personal injuries as a result of a collision.

Experts agree that distraction is the leading cause of car accidents across the nation and the Phoenix area is no exception. Eliminating distraction among drivers would prevent thousands of accidents, eliminate hundreds of injuries, and save many lives in Arizona alone. Most motorists agree that distracted driving is a problem but fewer appreciate just how often they are distracted behind the wheel, creating an issue where a typical driver engages in activities she would describe as unsafe if another person drove in that manner.

One of the biggest issues related to the reduction or elimination of distracted driving is the fact that these incidents occur in countless ways. Nearly anything can present a distraction to a driver and therefore eliminating all distractions is not only impractical but probably impossible. Instead, safety officials encourage drivers to use caution when they operate their vehicles and to prevent distractions themselves.

Recent years have seen a rise in the number of cell phones owned and used in Phoenix and as these devices have become more popular, their presence inside vehicles has increased as well. Cell phones are now a leading cause of distracted driving accidents and can present a problem if a driver uses them to text, send emails, surf the internet, watch video, or even make a phone call. Studies have shown that a texting driver can be just as dangerous – and in some cases more dangerous – than a drunk or intoxicated driver, threatening the safety of all those inside a texting driver’s car as well as those nearby who may be involved in a collision. Unless it is an emergency, it is safest to ignore a cell phone while driving and to save all calls and texts until after you have parked your vehicle.

Commonly, drivers report that they were trying to pick up something or to grab something inside their vehicles when they were involved in a collision. It sounds reasonable to reach for something nearby or to grab something to eat while you are driving but if you want to be as safe as possible, make sure you do not reach or grab if you cannot do it reasonably. Any action that takes your eyes off the road for even a second should be avoided as it can be long enough to lead to a collision. Further, if you cause a crash while reaching for something inside your car, you are likely to be held liable for the full extent of the damages that result from that crash and you may be cited for your conduct in starting the collision.

Other common forms of distraction include smoking, pets inside a vehicle, adjusting a radio, billboards outside of the car, or even daydreaming.

To put safety first, drivers have to take every step possible to ignore distractions and to focus on the road in front of them. Failing to do so makes it much more likely that a collision will happen and it increases the risk that innocent people will be hurt as a result.

If you were the victim of a distracted driving car accident in Maricopa County and you were injured, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case. We have a lawyer available to speak with you 24/7 and everything discussed will be kept confidential.

Prior Blog Entry:

Park Assist Technology Can Still Cause Accidents, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 4, 2016.

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