Distracted driving is a major problem across the U.S., reaching almost epidemic proportions, and Delaware is no exception. Lately, it seems that distracted driving is synonymous with cell phone use, due in large part to multiple media reports of major car and truck accidents caused by cell phone use.
According to the most recent data available from the Delaware State Police, in 2012, there were 4,870 auto accidents attributed to distracted driving, inattention and fatigue. In 2013, there were almost 200 more distracted driving car accidents (5,057).
In addition, the most recent data available from the Delaware Office of Highway Safety indicates there were 138 accidents attributed to cell phone use in 2011; the majority of such accidents occurred in New Castle County. This number is probably low, since it only includes accidents in which the at-fault driver either admitted to cell phone use or there was other evidence pointing to cell phone use. Many car, truck and pedestrian accidents on Delaware roadways occur due to cell phone use that cannot be easily substantiated (i.e., the driver lied about cell phone use and/or there were no witnesses who could say for certain that the driver was using a cell phone prior to causing the accident).
While data after 2011 is not available yet, we can certainly expect that the number of auto accidents in Delaware attributed to cell phone use has increased. Even though it’s illegal in the state of Delaware to use a cell phone when driving, drivers are still using cell phones to talk, text, etc.
However, it is important to note that cell phone use is not the only cause of distracted driving. Other distractions and causes of inattention when driving include applying makeup, eating, talking to passengers, and driving when tired or drowsy.
For example, a driver is heading to work in downtown Wilmington and is driving on U.S. Route 13 (DuPont Highway, Philadelphia Pike or Governor Printz Boulevard). She is running late and decides to apply makeup in the car. She fails to notice that the car in front of her is coming to an abrupt stop. The driver strikes the car immediately in front of her. This causes a chain reaction, and that car is pushed into the intersection and is struck by a truck. These kinds of intersection accidents are very common, whether due to cell phone use, applying makeup or simply looking away from the road.
Legal Rights of Drivers Injured in Car Accidents Due to Cell Phone Use
Drivers and passengers who are injured in car accidents caused by cell phone use or other types of distracted driving are often unaware of their legal rights. So long as the innocent driver or passenger is covered under an auto insurance policy issued in the state of Delaware, they will be able to make a PIP claim to obtain medical benefits coverage and lost wages. Read more about PIP claims in Delaware.
In addition, the at-fault party may be taken to court and subsequently ordered to pay fair and just compensation for the injured party’s physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers
If you’d like to discuss a potential car accident lawsuit with one of our lawyers, please call our office at (302) 658-1717. We have offices in Wilmington (King Street), Newark (Main Street) and Dover (N. DuPont Highway).
*Disclaimer: This website page does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in Delaware. Any discussion of results is no guarantee of the same or similar results in current or future cases.
*Use of the contact form on this website or emailing one of our lawyers does not create any attorney-client relationship. In addition, confidential information should not be sent through the contact form.