A lot of car accidents are caused by the driver not paying enough attention to the road, this lack of attention is also known as ‘Cognitive distraction’.
The inattention of a driver can be very dangerous, and it’s considered to be just as dangerous as drink driving. This is because the driver simply does not pay enough attention to the road. When you pay attention to the road you can see exactly what is in front of you, what’s behind you, and what is on either side. If you fail to pay enough attention to the road it’s likely that you’ll be found negligent for any accident you caused.
Cognitive distraction is very dangerous, in fact, when you think about how far a car can travel without the driver paying any attention you can see just how dangerous it is. If you are driving at 60 miles per hour and you are distracted for 2 seconds your car would have traveled 176 feet when you were not looking. If you were to drive in a busy city this way you may knock someone over, and there’s a real chance you could kill them.
What Tends to Distract People?
Most people are distracted by:
- Children they are traveling with
- Talking on the phone
- Looking at someone or something at the side of the road
- Using an electronic device such as an MP4 player or phone
- Changing radio stations
- Reaching for something that’s on the floor
- Reaching for something in the glove compartment
- Reaching for something on the back seat
- Getting something from your pocket
- Blowing your nose
- Adjusting the seat
- And much more!
The list of things that can distract a driver can be extensive, but if someone were to write a full and complete list they would note down anything that causes drivers to take their eyes off the road.
Cognitive Distraction and Liability
As cognitive distraction is considered to be a form of negligence, it a lawyer is able to prove that the defendant (The driver) was not paying attention the plaintiff (The injured party) is very likely to win their case.
If you were distracted while you were driving and you caused an accident any court will consider the accident to be your fault. If you are found at fault it is highly likely that your car insurance premium will increase in price.
How Cognitive Distraction is Proved
No one wants to admit that they were distracted behind the wheel, which means that an opposing lawyer will need to prove that you were distracted if they want to win a case against you. The lawyer is likely to go through a long list of things that generally distract drivers, and they will probably ask you if you were doing any of these things.
The lawyer will ultimately want to know if you were doing anything just before the accident. Were you talking? Were you texting or reaching for something in the glove compartment? The lawyer will try to prove whether you saw what was in front of you. If it is thought that you were talking on your phone without using a hands-free kit the lawyer may wish to see your phone records. If your phone records show that you were texting or making a call just before the accident they may have strong evidence against you.
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