According to this recent press release http://distraction.gov/content/press-release/2011/12-8.html from NHTSA, under their new matrix, an estimated 3,092 people lost their lives due to distracted driving in 2010. NHTSA opines that the actual number involving distracted driving could be higher given the ongoing challenges in capturing the scope of the problem – including individuals’ reluctance to admit behavior, lack of witnesses, and in some cases the death of the driver.
In Todd Clement’s 25 years of experience handling serious automobile collision, the negligent person “comes clean” and unequivocally and honestly admits fault less than 10% of the time, even when there are witnesses and no other explanation. Just like with alcohol related collisions, negligent defendants are now beginning to understand that admission of their distraction can result in criminal charges and negative reaction from the community and their families. So what do they do? They lie, they “don’t remember” and they make excuses.
When Todd Clement files a distracted driving lawsuit, he obtains a negligent driver’s phone records showing call times and their movements. He also obtains their text times and sometimes even the content of the texts. However, many other lawyers are not so thorough and the truth is often hidden.
So what can you do? If you witness a collision caused by a distracted driver and observed the driver before the collision talking on their cell phone or texting, take a few minutes to stop, speak to the police officer and tell them what you saw. Make sure the officer takes down your identification information and, if possible, get the victims number so you can send them a text. By being a good citizen, you can make sure the distracted driver is punished. You may even save a future life!