When you are operating a motor vehicle, you are required under law to continuously focus on your driving, as well as the road ahead of you. Failing to pay attention while driving is typically referred to as distracted driving. There are three main types of distracted driving:
- Visual: Engaging in activities that require you to take your eyes off the road (e.g., texting or reading).
- Manual: Engaging in activities that require you to remove your hands from the wheel (e.g., eating or adjusting the radio)
- Cognitive: Engaging in activities that require you to mentally focus on something other than driving (e.g., conversations with passengers).
Despite the risks, many Washington drivers continue to drive all distracted. According to the Washington Distracted Driving Observations Survey, 9.3 percent of Washington drivers and 7.8 percent of King County drivers engaged in distracted driving in 2022.
Filing a negligence claim against a distracted driver
Failing to fully focus on your driving may not seem like a big deal, but in reality, it only takes a few seconds for a car accident to occur. The Traffic Safety Commission reports that 23 percent of serious accidents in Washington are caused by distracted driving.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver in Washington, you may file a lawsuit against them, asserting claims for negligence. You will have to show that the other driver violated the law and that their negligent or reckless driving caused your accident and the injuries and damages you suffered.
If your suit is successful, you may recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to your accident.