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More distracted drivers mean more sideswipe accidents

At one time, driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol was considered the greatest epidemic sweeping the roadways across the United States. While DUIs are still an issue in Colorado and beyond, the greater threat is now considered to be distracted driving. Texting, changing the radio station, making a phone call and even browsing the Internet are all activities that many motorists choose to engage in while behind the wheel.

This has led to an increase in motor vehicle accidents, particularly those that involve swerving. A driver who is cruising along the highway and reading a text is likely to drift into the next lane. Once they realize what they are doing, they quickly over-correct their wheel, swerve and side-swipe the driver next to them.

Distracted driving facts and statistics

According to Newswire, Life360 recently conducted a study to evaluate behaviors and trends regarding distracted driving.

Here are some of the startling statistics:

  • The average driver uses their cell phone at least 1.7 times during each drive
  • Cell phone use was found to be most prevalent in New Orleans, Louisiana, where drivers use their cell phone at least 2.7 times per drive 
  • Cell phone use is the most common cause of distracted driving, including phone calls, texting, checking e-mail, browsing social media and using the apps

Types of Accidents Caused by Distracted Drivers

The fact of the matter is, distracted drivers cause accidents. While someone who is glancing at their phone is more likely to rear-end the car stopping in front of them, there are far more serious accidents that occur on a more regular basis as a result of distracted driving, including sideswipes at highway speeds.

This is a particularly dangerous type of accident because the driver or passengers in the other vehicle may be pushed further into the path of other cars in the surrounding lanes. Swerving can cause the accident itself, but many times, it is drivers noticing that they are swerving and then quickly correcting themselves that results in the accident.

Sideswipe accidents frequently result in injury, and tragically, they sometimes end in fatalities. This is why it is so critical that drivers resist the urge to text, use their phone or engage in other distracting behavior while they are on the road.

Rights of those who are injured as a result of a distracted driver accident

People who are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Colorado may be able to file a personal injury complaint against the negligent driver. Colorado is a comparative fault state, so the courts will determine the amount of fault that each person shares in the accident. If the driver shares more than 50 percent of the blame, then the distracted driver must pay the corresponding percentage of the damages. If they are less than 50 percent to blame, then the victim cannot collect damages in the accident. Working with a qualified attorney who specializes in personal injury law in Colorado can ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve after a distracted driving accident.

Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in the U.S., and the ever-expanding technology options that can be used on the roads are not helping matters. It's causing drivers who respect the rules of the road and who avoid distractions while driving to be more vigilant than ever before. It's increasing the risk of taking any type of drive, regardless of the distance or the current road conditions. It's a habit that needs to be stopped, because it's resulting in unnecessary injuries and fatalities.

If you've been side-swiped by a driver who was distracted behind the wheel, then now is the time to contact an experienced attorney at our Denver law firm. Schedule your consultation appointment today.

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