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How Can Distracted Driving Be Proven in Court?

Published on August 11th, 2020

Rockford Car Accident Attorney

One of the most common causes of automobile accidents in the US is driver distraction. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,000 people die each year as the result of an accident caused by a distracted driver. Common examples of driver distractions include eating, drinking, texting, applying makeup, daydreaming, and fiddling with the radio. 

If you believe that you were involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you, with the help of your Rockford car accident attorney, will need to fulfill the burden of proof.

The Scene of the Accident

Photographic or video evidence is often a way to prove the other driver was distracted. If a driver is paying attention to what is in front of them, there will likely be skid marks left by the tires from when the driver hits the brakes. A careful inspection of the damages on each vehicle, or crash reconstruction, can also be helpful when it comes to establishing that the other driver never hit the brakes or swerved prior to impact.

Cell Phone Records

Cell phones are an extremely common source of driver distraction. In one survey, 42% of high school drivers admitted to emailing or texting while driving in the 30 days prior to the survey. Texting implies three types of driver distraction, visual (reading), manual (typing), and cognitive (thinking about the messages).

By accessing the driver’s cell phone records, it may be possible to prove he or she was using a handheld mobile device in the minutes leading up to an accident. A knowledgeable Rockford car accident attorney can subpoena usage reports from the driver’s cell phone company. It may then be possible to establish that the driver was watching a video, sending a text, or opening an email at the time of the accident.

Eyewitness Statements

On occasion, an eyewitness will have seen that the driver of the vehicle causing the accident was distracted prior to the collision. Requesting official statements from any available eyewitnesses could help you prove your case. If another driver noticed that the driver that hit you was looking down at his or her phone, or applying makeup using the rearview mirror just prior to the accident, it could serve as important evidence of driver distraction.

Police Reports

While a police officer’s opinion on its own may not be hard evidence of driver distraction, it may help convince the judge or jury. Therefore, it is always a good idea to speak with the police after any serious accident involving extensive property damage, personal injuries, or fatalities.

Police are extensively trained to examine the scene of an accident to help deduce fault. Consequently, the official accident report may document details that indicate if the other driver hit the brakes, how fast they were traveling on impact, and if they seemed distracted during the interview process.

Consult with an Accident Attorney

The best way to build a strong case against a distracted driver is to contact the American Law Firm and speak with a Rockford car accident attorney who has the knowledge and resources necessary to help you meet the burden of proof needed to win your case. Your lawyer can speak with witnesses, hire experts to testify, and take other steps to build a strong case against a distracted driver. If you are involved in an accident and the other driver was distracted, causing the accident, give us a call to discuss your case. We look forward to speaking with you.

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