Distracted Driver Accident Lawyers in Kansas City
Serving Kansas & Missouri
No one should be surprised to learn that distracted driving causes many accidents. We have all encountered drivers who are not paying attention. When a driver’s lack of concentration rises to the level of negligence, he or she may be held liable for accidents and injuries that result.
At Dempsey & Kingsland, P.C., our attorneys help clients recover compensation after being injured by distracted drivers. Over the years, we have helped many clients receive awards and settlements that allowed them to rebuild their lives after motor vehicle accidents, including those caused by distracted drivers.
Call our Kansas City distracted driver accident attorneys today at (816) 484-3776 to schedule an initial consultation.
U.S. Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Distracted driving fatalities increased by 9.9% in the United States in 2019 compared to 2018, jumping from 2,858 to 3,142.
- In 2019, distracted driving was a reported factor in 8.5% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes.
- More than 1,000 people are injured daily in accidents in which at least one driver was distracted.
- Distracted drivers, specifically those who are texting while driving, are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Common Forms of Distracted Driving
While there are many different forms of distracted driving, certain behaviors occur more often than others. The NHTSA defines distracted driving as engaging in any activity that pulls a driver's attention away from the road ahead. The following are some of the most common forms of distracted driving:
- Mobile phone use: Mobile phone use is the most prevalent form of distracted driving on the roads today. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), in 2017, 14% of all distracted driving fatalities were the result of mobile phone use.
- GPS: While GPS can be a useful tool for guiding you where you need to go, it also presents very real dangers. It’s important to set up your GPS route BEFORE you begin driving. Doing so while driving can be just as harmful as texting and driving. Even just looking down and away from the road for a few seconds to check on the GPS can be damaging. If you need to use GPS, it’s in your best interest to have it mounted to your windshield or dashboard so that you can easily see it while driving. Be sure the volume is turned up loud enough for you to hear it over the stereo and/or open windows. The goal here is to look at the screen as little as possible.
- Changing the stereo or controls: There are certain comforts to consider when driving—the temperature, the music, the adjustment of your seat, etc. Even though looking down to push a button or two doesn’t seem like a big deal, it can be very harmful if not executed properly.
- Makeup and grooming: It’s common to be in a rush when you’re heading out the door—especially if you’re going to work or school. Sadly, many people believe that their driving commute provides an opportunity for more time to put on makeup and/or groom. These activities require you to take your eyes off the road AND your hands off the wheel, which makes them particularly dangerous.
- Socializing with passengers: If you have a passenger riding with you, it can feel rude not to speak to them. However, your attention to driving must always come first. Although it may feel like the appropriate thing to do, when you turn to look at your passenger, you’re forced to look away from the road. This is very dangerous and should be avoided at all times.
- Looking away from the road ahead: While many of the aforementioned forms of distracted driving involve looking away from the road, it’s worth mentioning on its own as well. You may need to look for an address or landmark, there may be an accident and you’d like to see what happened, or there might be a double rainbow that you just have to see for a few more seconds. None of these behaviors seem explicitly dangerous, but anything that takes your vision and attention away from the road is considered a hazard.
- Dealing with kids and/or pets: Even though it’s not really safe, many people who drive with pets do so without securing them in the vehicle. Unfortunately, when pets move around the vehicle or sit on your lap, they pose serious distractions. If you’re a parent, you know how challenging it can be to drive with your child in the car. While you may need to tend to their needs from time to time, you should prioritize your attention toward driving first and foremost.
Car drivers are not the only source of distracted driving; studies show that over-the-road truckers who text or talk on cell phones are more likely to have accidents. And because they are distracted, they are less likely to take evasive measures or apply the brakes quickly.
Such distractions can easily cause rear-end accidents because drivers are momentarily unaware that traffic ahead of them has stopped. Accidents in construction zones as a result of distracted driving are also common. Drivers in construction areas need to remain alert to frequent changes in the roadway – something that is more difficult when they are distracted by fighting children or a ringing cell phone.
Compensation for Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
If you’ve been injured in an accident due to the negligent actions of a distracted driver, you may be able to recover compensation for a wide range of damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and other income
- Vehicle repairs and other property damage
- Pain and suffering
We're Here to Help
We invite you to speak with our Kansas City distracted driver accident attorneys if you were injured in a car accident. Our personal injury lawyers will learn about your case, discuss your options, and guide you through the legal process.