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What Happens in a Car Accident?
One of the fastest-growing causes of car accidents in Utah and across the country is distracted driving. Every year in the U.S., almost a half million people are injured or killed in traffic accidents attributed to the combination of texting and driving. This is occurring despite the efforts of safety advocates and law enforcement to make the general public more aware of how important it is to keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your attention to the task of driving to prevent car accidents and injuries. In addition to automobile drivers and their passengers, distracted driving jeopardizes motorcyclists, bicyclists, public transit riders, and pedestrians as well. At Rasmussen & Miner, we know what happens in a car accident and the losses that victims and their families can suffer. The following are the safety tips to minimize your risk of being involved in a distracted driving accident.
How to Stay Safe on the Road
National surveys reveal that as many as 70 percent of driver admit to using their cell phones while driving during the previous month. It is estimated that during the daytime hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones or manipulating other electronic devices every second. This activity increases the risks of crashes by an alarming three times over the normal risk probability.
Other types of distracted driving behaviors include:
- Taking photos or videos while driving
- Using electronic devices to post on social media or to check emails
- Adjusting GPS settings or switching car stereo stations
- Eating fast food or drinking coffee and other beverages
- Reaching for items on floorboards, in the glove department, or in the backseat
- Talking to other passengers in the vehicle
- Adjusting your appearance, such as combing hair or touching up makeup in the rearview mirror
Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents
Anything that takes your attention from the task of driving for even a few seconds decreases your response and reaction times, making car accidents more likely to occur. Even just five seconds is the average amount of time drivers are diverted by a single distraction. When driving at 55 miles per hour, this is akin to driving the entire length of a football field blindfolded.
Drivers are encouraged to follow these safety tips to prevent distracted driving accidents from occurring:
- Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel at all times
- Pay attention to the road in front of you, and be alert to changes in traffic, weather, or road conditions
- Rather than eating or drinking while driving, eat before you hit the road or dine in restaurants rather than getting to go orders
- Keep your cell phone turned off and avoid the temptation to check messages when stopped at traffic signals
For more information regarding what happens in a car accident and other car accident resources, check out the website of the National Safety Council. The organization offers driver safety videos, infographics, and memes for posting on social media, along with a distracted driving pledge which can be printed to share with friends and family members.
Extent of Injuries Can Depend on Many Factors
Whether you were injured in a head-on collision, a rear-end collision or a T-bone accident, the extent of your injuries may depend more on speed and your position in the car than on the amount of damage to your vehicle. If you were at a stop sign, leaning over to retrieve an item from your glove box when the accident occurred, the injury will be more severe than if you were sitting up and prepared to absorb the collision.
At the law office of Rasmussen & Miner in Salt Lake City, we offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions about medical treatment, fault or any other issue related to your auto accident.
Injuries and Vehicle Damage
Insurance companies may claim that a lack of damage to a vehicle means the occupant could not have been seriously injured. However, crush zones in cars are designed to absorb the energy of the collision. If your vehicle was not severely damaged, it doesn’t mean that you weren’t hurt.
Getting Immediate Medical Treatment
You may not feel pain after an auto accident because you are stunned. However, you should not assume you are okay and go home. Once you get home, you may experience serious inflammation, swelling and pain. Nerves can become impinged and inflamed. It may even take a day or two after the accident before symptoms present themselves.
After accidents, it is quite common for a victim to turn to the Internet to pick out a chiropractor to massage and manipulate their back and neck. However, a chiropractor usually cannot treat a medical condition such as slipped disk or impinged nerve.
Our personal injury lawyers always recommend that injured people start at the top. If you have back or neck pain, see a spinal doctor or a neurologist to find out if there might be something seriously wrong with you. Our attorneys will serve as your advocate to ensure you receive appropriate treatment after your accident.
Learn More About Auto Accident Injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Contact Us Today for Help
When car accidents and injuries impact you or those you love, Rasmussen & Miner is here to help. Our legal team knows what happens in car accidents and will do all we can to make sure you get the financial compensation you deserve. Contact our office online and request a consultation with one of our car accident attorneys today.