Distracted driving is becoming an epidemic danger on roadways across the country. Everyone knows how dangerous it is to drink and drive, but they somehow think it’s safe to take your eyes off the road to look at a mobile device, eat or fiddle with the radio. The truth is, distracted drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers.
The danger to motorcyclists is even worse; unlike when you’re in a car accident, a motorcycle doesn’t offer the protection of four walls and a roof around you, or airbags to lessen your impact. Motorcyclists who suffer accidents often end up with lifelong, debilitating injuries. Learn about the dangers of distracted drivers to motorcyclists, and when you should find help from motorcycle accident lawyers in North Carolina for your case.
Distracted Driving Issues
While the numbers vary from source to source, a joint study between the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the NHTSA discovered that distracted driving was the single most common cause of accidents across the nation. In fact, almost 80% of crashes, and 65% of near misses involved distracted drivers within the three seconds preceding the crash. Over the course of a single year, over 3,000 people die and over 431,000 are hurt in distracted driving accidents.
According to the IIHS, 13% of all traffic fatalities involve motorcyclists. That equates to thousands of motorcycle riders dying every year because someone took their eyes off the road. Perhaps not surprisingly, cell phone use was found to be the leading cause of distraction in these incidents.
Motorcycle Accident Fault
As much as auto drivers like to claim those on two wheels are a danger, the truth is that the majority of motorcycle accidents are the fault of car drivers, not motorcyclists. In most cases, the driver of the car fails to see the motorcyclist as they navigate traffic.
The Hurt Report released by the NHTSA showed that 2/3 of motorcycle accidents were caused by a car violating a motorcycle’s right of way. It also found that failure of car drivers to spot motorcycles was the leading cause of these accidents, that most frequently, cars turn into the direct path of a motorcycle traveling straight, and that when drivers are distracted the problem compounds.
A Growing Problem
Everyone knows the dangers of texting and driving. One would think that with increased awareness the problem would decrease. That’s sadly not the case. The problem, in fact, is getting worse as people refuse to give up their convenience and refuse to believe that they’re engaging in dangerous behavior. In fact, it is estimated that 660,000 people are using electronics while driving at any given moment.
The truth is, there’s no excuse for distracted driving. It’s a purely selfish act by people who don’t stop to think that when they’re behind the wheel of a car, they’re responsible for the lives of everyone else on the road. In the end, it’s a national concern with thousands of injuries every week.
What to Do
If you get hurt by a distracted driver, the first thing to do is call first responders and get medical attention. See to your health before anything. If you can, while you wait for first responders, take photos of the scene and talk to witnesses. Write down all the details you can remember, and exchange contact information with the other driver. File a police report. This will be important to help you remember the details in the future.
Contact your insurance company and report the accident. Be straightforward and to the point. Be honest but don’t editorialize. Don’t try to make the other driver look more guilty and definitely don’t say things like, “I wasn’t paying attention.” Finally, contact a qualified motorcycle accident attorney to explore your options to get compensation.
When you’re hurt in a motorcycle accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries, your medical bills, your lost wages and potential lost future earnings, your damaged quality of life, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, even your loss of comfort and relationships. Getting compensation, however, requires proving negligence on the part of the other driver, and that means the right legal help.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in North Carolina
The right accident attorney knows how to defend your rights, stand up to bullying insurance companies, and get you the compensation you deserve. At Lewis & Keller, we are the motorcycle accident lawyers in North Carolina with compassion and a legacy of successful litigation. We’ll give you the best shot at significant compensation for your injuries. Give us a call or complete our online contact form for a free consultation today.