The world is full of distractions, which can be helpful at times, except when you’re driving. Teens are often illustrated as the most distracted drivers, but drivers of all ages participate in distracted driving. The damages of distracted driving can range from minor to severe fatal accidents. 

If you were hit by a distracted driver, we’ll review your case and identify what damages you can get compensation for. Unexpected expenses from an accident that wasn’t your fault are one of the last things you need after an accident. The Tucson distracted driving accidents attorneys at Zanes Law are dedicated to fighting for you and your best interests. 

What Types of Distractions Can Cause an Accident?

Distracted driving can be visual, manual, and even mental. Any time a driver takes their attention away from driving, they are driving distracted, and they risk getting into an accident. After speeding, distracted driving is the second-most common reason for accidents in Arizona. 

Visual

Visual distractions occur when the driver takes their eyes off the road. A quick glance here and there is okay. In fact, you should do this to avoid tunnel vision, especially when driving on the highway. But when you’re spending minutes at a time looking around, it can cause you to lose focus and distort your perception of the road. 

Visual distractions include: 

  • Looking at a crash on the side of the road
  • Monitoring your pet in the back seat
  • Looking at sights outside

Along with distorting your perception, visual distractions can also distort your perception of time. In the time that you check on your pet in the back seat, you can easily rear-end another car or drift across lanes. 

Manual

Manual distractions happen when the driver takes their hands off the wheel. When they do this, they are no longer in control of the vehicle. Examples of manual distractions include:

  • Eating or drinking a beverage 
  • Using your phone (texting, taking calls, taking photos, scrolling through social media)
  • Fixing your appearance 

Manual distractions like eating and using your phone can cause minor driving errors like swerving but they can also result in driving across lanes. Both of these driving errors can lead to an accident. 

Mental

Mental distractions happen when you are not actively thinking about driving and are the easiest to fall victim to. One minute, you’re driving attentively, and the next, you catch yourself thinking of your upcoming vacation, taking your attention off the road. Mental distractions include:

  • Daydreaming
  • Talking to other people in the car
  • Mentally planning your day

The mind is responsible for visual and physical functions. So, when you’re mentally distracted, it affects every aspect of driving. If your mind is drifting, your reaction time and eyesight will not be as sharp.

All these types of distractions put the driver and others on the road at risk, whether it be a mental, manual, or visual distraction. 

Arizona’s Distracted Driving Law

In Arizona, like many other states, it is illegal to use your phone while driving. Actions like texting, holding the phone while talking, and using social media all prevent drivers from focusing on driving. 

However, there is an exception to the rule: hands-free phone calls and emergency calls are allowed. Hands-free calls are safer because they don’t require the driver to hold the phone. 

Emergency calls are also an exception because they can help get medical assistance or report a crime.                  

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, there are some other things you are allowed to do while driving that are not defined as distractions. Car companies have made great progress in making cars more technologically advanced, making it easier to drive while performing essential tasks. These things include: 

  • Starting or ending a hands-free call
  • Start a GPS route 
  • Talk on the phone using an earpiece or voice command watch

While the distracted driver may face criminal traffic penalties, you can still pursue a civil claim against them. A distracted driving accident attorney in Tucson can help you navigate the process.

What Damages Can I Recover if a Distracted Driver Hits Me?

When a distracted driver hits you, it can be shocking but also upsetting. You were driving responsibly, but you have to suffer the consequences of another driver who was not. Depending on the details of your case, you may be able to recover damages such as:

  • Vehicle repairs or replacement
  • Medical expenses related to the accident
  • Loss of income
  • Property damage 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Physical therapy and in-home care 

We are passionate lawyers and we believe in fighting for the compensation that you deserve. We will examine your case to find all the damages you can recover, even the ones that insurance companies try to hide.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for a Distracted Driving Accident in Arizona?

According to A.R.S.§ 12-542, you have two years from the day of the car accident to file a personal injury claim. When you file a claim immediately after the accident, you increase the likelihood of winning your case and the amount of your settlement.

Filing a claim soon after the accident will show that the accident impacted you and you are genuine in your intentions. In some situations, you may want to wait until you have a full grasp of your medical costs to include in your claim. Your injury symptoms may not even appear right away.

However, you don’t want to wait too long. It takes time for your distracted driving accident lawyer in Tucson to build your case. Waiting too long can also arouse suspicion by the insurance company and the defendant’s attorney. Also, if the statute of limitations expires, you’ll have no recourse for pursuing compensation.

Types of Accidents Distracted Driving Can Cause

While distracted driving can cause any type of accident, there are a few common types of accidents that happen when a driver is distracted. All these accidents are avoidable when all drivers are focusing on their driving and the roads.

T-bone collisions, rear-end accidents, and head-on accidents happen most among distracted drivers. Visual, manual, and mental distractions can cause any of these three accidents. 

T-Bone Collisions

T-bone collisions occur the most often at intersections when drivers make left turns. When people are waiting at intersections they often will try to do things like text or eat. This can lead to serious accidents if the other driver is driving at a high speed.

For example, if you’re turning left, but the other driver is texting they may not be paying attention to the color of the light. They may proceed at a higher speed because their brain is not calculating how much pressure the gas needs, let alone the status of the light. This situation will result in a side-impact collision because of the other driver. 

However, you should also be aware of other cars, since you’re yielding to the oncoming traffic. But sometimes, you’re already too far out in the intersection to avoid the accident. 

Rear-End Accidents

Rear-end accidents are common and can be minor or severe depending on the car’s speed. Let’s say you’re waiting in 5:00 traffic and there’s a traffic jam. People are slowly moving along, but not enough to allow you to get where you need to be. At this point, many people may take out their phones to endlessly scroll or they may attend to their kids in the back seat. 

If the person behind you does this, they aren’t paying attention to the traffic jam’s status. They may hear a horn and panic, hitting the gas so as to not keep anyone waiting. But what they didn’t know is that horn beep was not intended for them. And now, they have rear-ended your car.

Head-On Accidents

Head-on crashes can occur on highways, main roads, and even on neighborhood streets. All it takes is a driver looking away for a few seconds. If you’re driving on the highway and another driver is distracted, they could swerve across the divider and hit you. 

This can also happen on a main road which can be just as dangerous. If another driver is texting, they can glide across lanes within seconds and hit your car head-on. On main roads, there’s no divider to take the impact of the other driver’s car, so head-on accidents may be more dangerous on main roads.

How a Zanes Law Lawyer Can Help You After a Distracted Driving Accident

Being hit by a distracted driver is unexpected and leads to costly bills, that you didn’t plan for. If a negligent driver hit you, we understand your frustration. Our Tucson distracted driving accidents lawyers are here to help. 

At Zanes Law Injury Lawyers, we thoroughly review your case to see and fight for the maximum settlement. Call us today or fill out the form on our contact us page to start your free case evaluation.

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