July 21, 2024

Distracted driving is a deadly frequently occurrence on Detroit roads. In 2022, over 9,000 crashes involved distracted drivers in Wayne County alone. 27% resulted in serious injuries. 53 people killed.

As one of the top car accident attorney Detroit has to offer, I’ve witnessed the devastating aftermath firsthand. Distracted driving demolishes lives in an instant through catastrophic injuries and immense suffering. This harsh reality is 100% preventable, yet continues unabated due to selfish negligence.

In this post, I examine distracted driving’s often negative impact through statistics, laws, and methods to establish liability. I also provide actionable educational tips you should follow to avoid inflicting trauma on yourself and others through distracted driving in Detroit.

What Exactly is Distracted Driving? 

By Michigan vehicle codes (House Bills 4250, 4251, and 4252), distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts your attention from safe driving. The three main types of distracted driving according to the laws updated in 2023 are:

  • Visual – Taking eyes off the road  
  • Manual – Taking hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive – Taking mind off the driving task
  • Watching or recording videos
  • Engaging in social media
  • Browsing or using the Internet
  • Making or answering a telephone or video call
  • Entering information into your car GPS or a navigation system

Other very common distractions that will put you in trouble include texting, using a phone, eating/drinking, adjusting entertainment systems, applying makeup, and interacting with passengers. IU I will also mention here that texting while driving is especially is extremely dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction possible. 

Distracted Driving in Detroit -What the Stats Say

In Detroit, 26% of all crashes in 2023 involved a distracted driver, resulting in more than 50 fatalities and close to 6,500 injuries according to Detroit State Police crash statistics. The high -risk areas are Intersate-94, Interstate -75, and Woodward Ave corridors, as well as heavily congested surface streets like Grand River Ave.

Rear-end collisions are the most frequent distracted driving accidents, mainly caused by delayed reaction times. Incidents of sideswiping, running red lights, and drifting out of lanes are also common results. Beyond crashes, distracted driving contributes heavily to traffic jams, road rage incidents, and excessive congestion across Metro Detroit and surrounding urban areas.

What are the Legal Consequences of Distracted Driving?

In Michigan, texting while driving is illegal with fines of $100 for a first offense and $250 for subsequent violations. However, distracted driving that causes injury or death can lead to much more serious criminal charges.

If distracted driving results in negligent injury, it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a maximum $500 fine. Negligent homicide by distracted driving is treated as a felony, with up to 2 years imprisonment and/or $2,000 in fines.

In civil cases, you can be can be held liable for economic damages like medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages for pain/suffering if found guilty of distracted driving. More punitive damages are also possible for the most egregious distracted driving behavior.

How Detroit Attorneys Prove Distracted Driving in Court 

Establishing distracted driving caused an accident needs a lot of evidence from skilled attorneys and accident reconstruction experts. Phone records documenting usage at the time of the crash are also needed in most case. Witness testimony about the driver’s actions can be included where available.

However, witnesses may sometimes be unreliable or limited in visibility. Physical evidence like the lack of skid marks can be used to show distraction, but may not be conclusive. In some cases, human driving behavior evidence from air bag module data might demonstrate distraction through erratic inputs.

Proving distracted driving definitively remains challenging despite technological advances. Having an experienced car accident attorney to properly develop and argue the evidence is really important if you are a victim of a distracted driver seeking compensation or other forms of legal redress in Detroit. 

How You can Prevent Distracted Driving 

The simplest way you can avoid distracted driving is to never use your phone while operating a vehicle. You can choose to enable do-not-disturb modes and silence notifications.  Also, I find using voice commands for calls/texts helpful in cases I have to take a call although I would advise avoiding anything to do with your phone completely when driving.

Plan your route and set navigation before departing and avoid eating, drinking, grooming, or tending to pets while driving. Also ensure you stay focused in heavy traffic areas and construction zones which require maximum attentiveness. 

If you need to read a text, make a call, or handle another distraction, you can pull over somewhere safe and legal before doing so. Eliminating distractions prevents accidents and saves lives.

Lastly, when injured by a distracted driver, hiring an experienced Detroit car accident lawyer is the best next step to take. As you can probably tell, these cases require extensive investigation and analysis to prove distraction caused the crash. 

An attorney knows how to obtain phone records, interpret vehicle data, work with reconstruction experts, and develop a strong theory of liability. They understand how to calculate and pursue full compensation for medical expenses, lost income, disability, pain/suffering, and other damages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *