Gregg E. Bradshaw, LLC

Beware of distracted drivers on Washington roadways

When you were growing up in Washington or another state, your family might have taken Sunday drives. It was a common custom in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. In the decades that followed, traffic became more and more congested, speed limits increased, and other factors made leisure rides feel more like games of roulette, with travelers hoping they would safely reach their destinations. Perhaps, you're one of many throughout the state who navigate a daily commute to and from work.

Some days, you might sigh with relief when your trip into or home from the workplace unfolds in a rather uneventful manner. Other days, you might be glad you arrived unscathed, especially if a distracted driver or reckless person nearly caused a collision. Distracted driving collisions are responsible for many fatalities, which is why it's so important to know how to recognize potential danger on the road and have a plan in mind if a problem arises.

Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel

When you learned to drive, your instructor likely told you (perhaps, numerous times) to always keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. The problem is that not every motorist follows this sage advice. Some look at GPS devices or adjust radio knobs, or even use hand-held electronic devices to send text messages or scroll through play lists while they drive.

Another driver's negligence can land you in the hospital. Even if you notice a person using a cell phone behind the wheel, for instance, you might not be able to swiftly and safely react in time to avoid a collision if that driver veers into your lane or fails to stop at a red light while you are already mid-turn through an intersection.

Cognitive distractions are common and dangerous

You have absolutely no way of knowing what another driver happens to be thinking while navigating Washington roadways. A driver might appear to focus on the task at hand, but his or her thoughts may be elsewhere, placing you and any other traveler or pedestrian nearby at risk for injury.

Cognitive distractions often occur through daydreaming, using hands-free devices to multi-task while driving (such as participating in a business meeting by speaker phone) or engaging in conversation with other vehicle occupants.

Recovering from a distracted driving collision

The sudden impact of a distracted driving crash can have disastrous results. You may total your car. You might suffer a concussion or traumatic brain injury from the sudden jolt your head took when the other vehicle hit you. In fact, you might be in critical or life-threatening condition when rescue workers transport you to the nearest hospital or trauma center for treatment.

It can take days, weeks, even months to regain strength and physically heal from the injuries you suffer in a distracted driving collision. Sadly, there's a distinct possibility that you could suffer a permanent disability as well. Medical care, time off work and other accident-related expenses can cause financial distress, which is why many accident victims seek financial recovery against those deemed responsible for their injuries.

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