Automobile accidents caused by distracted driving are on the rise in Charlotte, and North Carolina teens are 59% more at risk to die in a vehicle crash when compared to the same demographic in South Carolina, according to a ValuePenguin study.
The NC Highway Patrol states that distracted driving is the biggest threat to safety and apparently, teenagers are not the only ones getting behind the wheel and not paying attention. North Carolina has issued cell phone bans for bus drivers and for those under the age of 18.
Types of Distracted Driving
There are four distinct types of distractions:
- Visual, where the driver is looking at something else and not the road
- Manual, indicating that the driver is physically touching or adjusting something that is not the steering wheel
- Auditory, meaning the driver is listening to or hearing something that is unrelated to driving
- Cognitive, such that the driver is distracted by thinking about things unrelated to the task at hand
Your case could involve any or all of the above distractions. But there is one activity that overwhelmingly encompasses all four categories and it probably comes as no surprise that distraction is a cell phone. But what about when a device is the literal cause of the crash?
The Danger from Cellphones and Other Distracting Devices
It has been shown that dialing the phone increases the risk of a serious accident threefold, while simply reaching for your phone increases the chance of crashing by almost one and a half times. The risk increases also while merely listening or talking and some hands-free devices provide zero protection.
In Charlotte, distracted driving has become such an issue that the North Carolina Department of Transportation has issued an initiative and laid out policies regarding distracted driving and driver safety.
In spite of all of these precautions, an alarming number of people will be injured or even killed in distracted driving incidents this year. Most cases brought to court are filed with criminal charges or civil lawsuits but there are other ways that these cases come to court.
Product Liability in Auto Accidents
Product liability means that lawyers representing victims of distracted driving litigate against cell phone makers, GPS system manufacturers, or other companies whose devices potentially led to the crash. Cell phones mounted on the dashboard that emit an audible sound when a text message goes off could easily distract someone driving down the highway. The same could be said for faulty navigation systems that distract the driver and shift focus.
It only takes a few seconds for distracted driving to happen and depending on how the device is made and what the circumstances were before the accident, you may have a product liability case against a manufacturer that will provide sizable compensation to help with medical bills, lost income due to being out of work and even future medical bills and financial losses.
An experienced product liability lawyer is a resource available to you to investigate if indeed you have a claim. The one surefire way to make sure your case qualifies for a high-settlement product liability case is to present it to a qualified attorney. You’ll be asked to describe details about the incident and discover which type of litigation to pursue.
In a successful product liability settlement, you could be handsomely compensated by not only the at-fault driver, but also the maker of the device in question when the accident occurred.