Inattentive driving is the most common cause of motor vehicle accidents. These accidents can cause serious injuries for those involved and make their lives extremely difficult. Accidents caused by inattentive drivers are completely preventable, and those injured in them can be affected by the accident for years or a lifetime.
Receiving financial compensation can assist you in paying for the medical treatment needed to recover from an inattentive driving accident. In order to be sure that your claim is done correctly and increases the probability of getting the best compensation you deserve, you need an inattentive driving accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO. At The Cagle Law Firm, we can give you the help you need.
What is Inattentive Driving?
The terms “inattentive driving” and “distracted driving” are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same thing. Distracted driving is a form of inattentive driving specific to the use of electronic devices while behind the wheel—sending or reading texts and email, viewing social media accounts, making phone calls, and so forth while driving.
Inattentive driving includes distracted driving but also includes any behavior that takes your eyes and attention off the task of being an alert driver. Examples of inattentive driving include: changing the radio station, programming a GPS, reading a map, putting on makeup, adjusting the air conditioning or heater, talking to others in the car, or trying to discipline children while driving. It also includes daydreaming and driving on autopilot rather than actively paying attention to the road—actions that can lead to the failure to yield in intersections or notice the traffic patterns around a driver before turning or changing lanes.
While phone use, such as texting while driving, gets a lot of media attention, many of these other forms of inattention persist. Distracted driving caused serious car accidents long before the advent of cell phones, and they continue to do so. When inattentive driving leads to someone crashing into you, you may have an opportunity to recover compensation by contacting an experienced car accident attorney.
Driver inattention is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents in Missouri and across the nation. In fact, according to a study from the University of Missouri, drivers who do not pay attention to the task of driving are 29 times more likely to crash than attentive drivers.
Types of Inattentive Driving
To operate a motor vehicle safely, drivers must visually, manually, and cognitively pay attention to driving. Any of these three forms of inattention puts the driver and others on the road at risk of an accident.
Manual distractions are those that cause the driver to take his or her hands from the wheel. Some examples of inattention caused by a manual distraction include removing a jacket while driving, adjusting the vehicle, GPS, or stereo controls, eating or drinking, smoking, or reaching for an object in the car while driving.
“I only looked down for one second,” is a phrase commonly heard at the scene of motor vehicle accidents. Visual distractions cause the driver to take his or her eyes off the road and may include external factors such as billboards, people in other cars, or even previous accidents. Being visually distracted may also include looking in the rearview or visor mirror and failing to pay attention to objects or hazards in front of the vehicle. They can also be internal, such as looking down at gauges, looking at the GPS, looking for something on the floor or seat of the vehicle, or glancing back at a child or pet in the back seat.
To drive safely, the driver must focus on driving. Letting one’s mind wander or simply not paying attention to what is going on in and around the vehicle are common crash-causing distractions of all. Examples of cognitive distractions to drivers include daydreaming, thinking about work or personal issues, conversing with other passengers, singing or listening to music, or talking on the phone.
The Dangers of Inattentive Driving
Inattentive driving is extremely dangerous, even if it’s just for a second. An inattentive driver can harm themselves and everyone around them in just a moment.
Here are some of the risks that innovative driving may cause.
- Inattention may make a driver miss changes in speed limits, causing a driver to speed through school zones where pedestrians may cross the street or work zones where workers are present. Missouri law features increased fines for speeding in work zones and further increases if workers are present when the offense occurred.
- Inattention could cause a driver to miss an exit or carelessly cross through traffic lanes because a driver was late in preparing to exit. Inattention can also cause a driver to fail to notice road signs, such as one-way signs, that could result in wrong-way driving.
- A driver could miss hazards on the roadway due to inattention, including people, other cars, or even animals.
- Inattention is also a major cause of rear-end accidents, as a driver could proceed without noticing that traffic has slowed or stopped ahead.
- Inattention at intersections is particularly risky, as it can lead to a failure to yield the right-of-way, the chief cause of broadside accidents.
- Loud music or headphones may cause an inability to hear approaching sirens of emergency vehicles, potentially creating an obstacle for first responders in an emergency. It can also cause a driver to miss the clicking sound of a turn signal, possibly confusing other drivers. Drivers may miss the sound of other vehicles or children playing by the roadside and not realize they’re there in time to avoid collisions.
- Inattention could cause a driver to miss a school bus stop sign or flashing lights, resulting in the potential for striking a child who is getting off the school bus and crossing the street.
- Inattention can result in a driver swerving into another travel lane or even into oncoming traffic lanes.
- Inattention is a major cause of single-vehicle run off the road type accidents, which often result in deadly vehicle rollovers.
- An inattentive driver is also at increased risk of inadequate surveillance before entering a roadway, which poses a particular risk to bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists in the vehicle’s path.
Work with a Trusted Inattentive Driving Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, MO
Inattentive driving can result in car accidents. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, you will more than likely need legal assistance in getting compensation for your damages. It can sometimes be a challenge to get the financial compensation you deserve, but The Cagle Law Firm can help. We’ll help you get compensation to ensure that you’re taken care of following the accident.
Everyone injured in an inattentive driving accident needs to know that help is available. Contact us toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681 for a free consultation today.