Were you hurt in an accident caused by a driver who was not paying attention? Distracted driving poses a threat not only to the distracted motorist, but also puts their passengers and everyone else on the road at risk.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,166 people were killed due to distracted driving in a single recent year. Distracted driving impacts every demographic and is increasingly common, particularly as people become more and more dependent on their smartphones for communicating through talk or text, using navigation apps, browsing social media, and surfing the web.
If you were injured in a car crash caused by distracted driving in Cheyenne, the experienced distracted driving lawyers of the Olson Law Firm are here to help. Call our team to schedule a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case with us today.
Common Types of Distracted Driving in Cheyenne, Wyoming
Distracted driving is any activity that redirects the driver’s attention away from the task of operating the motor vehicle safely, According to NHTSA.
There are three commonly-recognized distractions, including:
- Visual distractions – Visual distractions occur whenever a driver takes their eyes off of the road. Examples include checking your phone, glancing at an object in your peripheral view, or searching for an item in your vehicle.
- Manual distractions – These are activities that cause a driver to take their hands off of the wheel. This can include changing the radio station, eating, smoking, or drinking, as well as texting.
- Cognitive distractions – This category consists of anything that would redirect a driver’s thought process from safely steering the vehicle. This type of distraction includes driving while stressed or fatigued, experiencing road rage, and talking with passengers or on the phone.
Distractions can fall into more than one category, such as texting while driving, which actually falls into all three categories, since sending a text requires the driver to take their eyes off the road, use their hands to type, and put thought into reading and composing a response, rather than focusing on driving.
Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
In one recent year, distracted drivers were responsible for 902 accidents in Wyoming. Of those 902 accidents:
• 229 were caused by drivers using their cell phones
• 383 were caused by inside-the-vehicle distractions
• 290 were caused by distractions that occurred outside of the vehicle
Distracted driving also caused 352 injuries and five deaths in Wyoming. According to a new study, Wyoming ranks as the third deadliest state for distracted driving.
Injuries Caused by Distracted Drivers
More than 90% of car accidents involve human error, according to the National Safety Council. Collisions caused by distracted driving are devastating because they are utterly preventable. If the driver had been paying attention, the accident and resulting injuries or deaths would almost certainly not have occurred.
Unfortunately, these accidents can and do happen because many motorists make the reckless choice to drive while distracted. Victims often suffer severe and sometimes life-altering injuries as a result. Some commonly reported injuries include:
- Neck and shoulder injuries – The tissue in the neck and shoulder area is where injuries are common and can require months of recovery. In most cases, whiplash can leave a person hospitalized, while surgery is sometimes required. Some patients never fully recover.
- Lacerations – Cuts and lacerations are also quite common after a car accident, especially if broken glass or metal are involved. While minor cuts can be cleaned to avoid infection, more severe lacerations may require stitches to heal, and extreme lacerations can require immediate surgery.
- Broken bones – While fractures aren’t usually fatal, they are extremely painful and require immediate medical attention. In some cases, they can take three to six months to heal fully, causing the victim to miss work and limit the ability to perform daily tasks. Some fractures cause permanent disabilities.
- Spinal cord injuries – An injury to the spinal cord could have a lasting, and in many cases, could permanently impact the life of the victim and their family members. Because the spinal cord is responsible for transmitting signals from the brain to the other parts of the body, damage to this sensitive structure could result in partial or total paralysis, including paraplegia or quadriplegia.
- Traumatic brain injuries – Any injury to the brain is extremely serious. A traumatic brain injury could impact a victim’s life in a wide variety of ways, and can affect the person both physically and emotionally.
Distracted Driving Laws in Cheyenne, Wyoming
Wyoming takes distracted driving very seriously. State law prohibits all drivers from texting while driving. While there are currently no restrictions on talking while driving, Wyoming’s distracted driving law prohibits drivers from using a phone to compose, send, or read text messages.
However, there are some exceptions. These include hands-free or voice-operated use, reading, writing, selecting, or entering a number to make or receive a phone call, using the device to contact emergency response teams, or using the device while legally parked on the side of the road.
State law also bans commercial vehicle drivers from using a hand-held device.
In addition to state laws against using hand-held devices, residents and visitors to this area should be aware that the city of Cheyenne has enacted an ordinance banning hand-held cell phone use for all drivers. Violators are subject to a $125 fine.
Liability and Damages in a Distracted Driving Case in Cheyenne
If a distracted driver causes an accident that results in serious injury or death, the victim or surviving family members of the deceased could be eligible to seek compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Because distracted driving is a form of negligence, the responsible party could be held accountable.
An experienced injury attorney could help accident victims recover compensation in the form of both economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Travel expenses for treatment
- Home modifications
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress
Surviving family members could be owed compensation for funeral and burial costs, loss of financial and emotional support, and other damages through a wrongful death action against the distracted driver who caused the crash.
Hurt by a Distracted Driver in Cheyenne? Contact Olson Law Firm, LLC for Help Now
If a distracted driver caused an accident that has impacted your health, your life, and your livelihood, the Cheyenne distracted driving accident lawyers of the Olson Law Firm are ready to help you seek justice. We are prepared to put all of our efforts and resources to work for you, and we will not rest until you get the compensation that you deserve.
Call us to schedule a free case evaluation with our team today. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis. You won’t owe us anything until we win your case.