Distracted driving accident in O’Fallon leads to lawsuit

As cars offer more high-tech gadgets, dangers for other drivers increase

Two men who were injured by a distracted driver in O'Fallon in August of last year are suing the driver, according to the Madison-St. Clair Record. The plaintiffs allege that the driver was operating his vehicle while distracted, crossed over the center line, and collided head on with the two men's vehicles. The case is a reminder of the dangers of distracted driving, which, according to some, is only getting worse as cars manufacturers offer drivers more in-car gadgets and technologies.

Crash leads to serious injuries

In the O'Fallon crash, the distracted driver is accused of failing to stay in his lane and operating his vehicle in such a way that violated Illinois state law. The plaintiffs are seeking in excess of $100,000 and claim the accident left them with permanent and disfiguring disabilities, medical expenses, lost income, and physical and mental anguish.

While it is unclear whether the distraction cited in this case was caused by a mobile device, most instances of distracted driving are indeed attributable to drivers talking or texting on their cell phones. Although such activities are now illegal in Illinois, many drivers continue to flout the law, thus putting other motorists at risk.

Even more distractions

As the Chicago Tribune reported earlier this year, distracted driving led to 3,300 fatalities in 2011 alone and that in any given minute there are approximately 660,000 drivers in the US using a handheld device while driving.

Furthermore, the article points out that distracted driving is no longer limited to cell phone use. Car manufacturers are offering an ever wider array of in-car gadgets for drivers, such as GPS systems and Bluetooth, which can prove equally distracting. In fact, while many drivers believe that hands-free devices are the answer to staying safe on the road, studies have shown that these devices are in many cases no better than the handheld devices that are currently banned while driving.

Distracted driving claims

With drivers being presented with so many potential distractions while driving, it appears as though the hazards posed by distracted driving will only continue into the foreseeable future. Despite plenty of research showing that distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, many drivers still fail to give their full attention to the road when they are behind the wheel.

For the victims of distracted drivers, the consequences can be catastrophic and long lasting. In addition to the physical and mental suffering, many victims will also have to contend with high medical expenses and lost income. Anybody who has been injured by a distracted driver should contact a qualified personal injury attorney right away. An experienced attorney can discuss what legal options are available and whether a client's particular case may warrant financial compensation.