Every time you drive along a West Virginia roadway, you’re at risk of a collision. Then again, you might suffer injuries even if you’re traveling on foot as a pedestrian. You might also be a passenger in someone’s car that is struck by another vehicle. In short, you need not necessarily be the one behind the wheel to suffer injuries in a motor vehicle collision.
All drivers are obligated to adhere to traffic laws and safety regulations. Nowadays, it’s easy for drivers to become distracted, and it only takes a moment of distraction to cause disaster. When you drive, it’s critical that you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. This improves your own safety as well as the safety of others who might be sharing the road with you.
There are 3 main types of distraction while driving
You can separate driving distractions into three main categories. While certain types of distraction might seem more dangerous than others, any distraction at all increases the risk for a collision. There are numerous types of distraction in each of the categories included in the following list:
- Visual distractions: Any time a driver’s eyes are not focused on the road ahead or immediate surroundings related to the task at hand, he or she is visually distracted. Looking at a radio or billboard as well as glancing at a GPS device or gazing at roadside scenery are common types of visual distraction that place drivers and others at great risk for an accident.
- Manual distractions: Your hands should both be on the wheel at all times while driving. Eating or drinking behind the wheel, changing the station on a car radio, lighting a cigarette or using a hand-held electronic device are several of many manual distractions that are often key factors in fatal motor vehicle accidents.
- Cognitive distractions: While navigating traffic, it is not the best time to be thinking about the date you had the night before or a disagreement you had with a coworker. Daydreaming, multitasking by using Bluetooth technology to conduct a business meeting or thinking up a grocery list while you make your way to the store create cognitive distractions that impede your ability to focus on driving.
You might be able to tell when another driver is manually distracted. For instance, you might see someone texting behind the wheel. It’s impossible, however, to know what another person is thinking; therefore, identifying a cognitively distracted driver is next to impossible. If a driver is visually, manually or cognitively distracted, you might be the one who suffers harm because of his or her negligence.
What happens then?
The top priority in the immediate aftermath of a West Virginia collision is always to obtain medical attention, even if you think you’re going to be OK. The emergency room medical examination creates documentation of the collision and any injuries you may have suffered upon impact.
Some injuries can have delayed symptoms, which is why it’s important to continue to monitor your condition for several weeks. If you suffer moderate to severe injuries, the care and treatment needed can spark financial distress, which only adds to your burden. Many recovering accident victims seek restitution in court and then use court-awarded monies to help pay medical bills and cover other expenses associated with their injuries.