According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA,) 37,461 people were killed on U.S. roads and highways in 2016, an increase of 5.6% from the previous year. Of those slain, NHTSA found that 9.2% (3,450) were victims of distracted driving, a phenomenon that has grown in recent years due to the advent of smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices.
WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING?
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including:
- Surfing the internet
- Answering phone calls
- Adjusting the stereo
- Changing the music
- Entering GPS directions
- Talking to other passengers
- Taking a photo
- Putting on makeup
Of those activities, texting may be the most alarming. Sending or reading a text messages takes a driver’s eyes off of the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. If a driver is not paying full attention to the road, they are not driving safely. Activities such as these increase the chances of crashing by as much as 3 times.
NEBRASKA DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS
Nebraska law prohibits the use of handheld wireless devices while operating a motor vehicle. Nebraska is one of a few states that operates under secondary enforcement of the ban on texting, meaning a driver is not be cited for a violation unless they are charged with another driving offense, such as speeding or running a red light. If a driver is caught violating the texting law, they can be fined $200 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense, and $500 for subsequent offenses, in addition to three points against their license.
However, many are pushing for Nebraska to change the law so that it could allow law enforcement to pull drivers over for texting and driving alone, by making it a stoppable offense instead of a secondary one. While some fear that it would give too much power to the police, stricter laws have reduced distracted driving fatalities in other states, such as Ohio where deaths have decreased by 17%.
HOW WE CAN HELP
If you’ve been injured in a distracted driving accident, you need to contact our Nebraska personal injury lawyers at The Robert Pahlke Law Group immediately. Our most important task is proving your case to recover full, fair, and complete compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
We start by performing a full investigation, including subpoenaing all phone records, obtaining black box recorders, and gathering video evidence if tapes happened to record the accident. We also employ the necessary experts, including physicists and reconstruction experts, who can help us put together a full picture of what happened.
After the car crash, a representative of the negligent party’s auto insurance company may call and ask you to give a recorded statement or they might make a low settlement offer. Remember that signing a release on your claim could ruin your chances at recovering compensation, while low settlement offers are always sprung on victims early on so that insurance companies don’t have to pay out more money. We can take over and talk to the insurance company on your behalf.
While we aim for a quick settlement, we are ready to take any case to court if needed. If you’re ready to start on your personal injury claim, call us today at (308) 633-4444 or contact us online .