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Car Accident / 2.28.2024

The Role of Social Media in Distracted Driving Accidents

What to Know About Social Media and Distracted Driving Accidents

Billions of people use social media every day. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms have become an obsession with people of all ages. Many individuals spend hours scrolling the feeds of others or documenting their own escapades. Unfortunately, the obsession with social media has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives, including behind the wheel. 

Too often, motorists, not wanting to miss the latest post, glance down at their phones to glimpse their social media accounts. In the blink of an eye, the momentary distraction can cause a devastating accident with serious injuries. 

At Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A., our lawyers provide dedicated representation for individuals who have been injured in distracted driving accidents. Whether the person was scrolling Facebook or posting on Instagram, they may be liable for resulting injuries. If you were hurt in a collision caused by a distracted driver, contact our office to schedule a free consultation. 

The Influence of Social Media on Driver Behavior

Social media has crept into nearly every aspect of our lives. Every day, people spend hours looking at the platforms or posting photos of their own. Tragically, social media can have a very dark side. In addition to perpetuating negative body images and promoting dangerous activities, social media can also affect driver behavior. 

A driver who is eager to check social media may take their eyes off the road for several seconds. This can cause a catastrophic collision. Social media causes driver distraction, particularly with younger drivers who are also handicapped by inexperience. This combination can prove deadly in some circumstances. Distracted driving claims thousands of lives each year.

How Many Accidents Are Caused by Social Media Use?

Social media use is a type of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving resulted in 3,522 fatalities in 2021. As noted by the federal agency, taking your eyes away from the road for even five seconds, going 55 mph, is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Passengers may also cause distraction by being on social media in the car. A passenger scrolling through a platform may be tempted to show the driver a funny post or to post while they are riding. Not only is physical distraction likely to increase the risk of an accident, but so is cognitive distraction. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes or concentration from the road can be extraordinarily dangerous.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Undoubtedly, any distraction can be hazardous on the road. But posting on social media or checking notifications has proven to be deadly. Posting on social media is similar to texting. As reported by NHTSA, teen drivers are 23x more likely to be involved in a crash if they are texting while driving. 

Common Injuries Associated with Distracted Driving

Distracted driving, such as checking a social media account, can cause irreparable harm. Distracted driving frequently results in rear-end collisions that can cause whiplash and other head and neck trauma.

Injuries associated with distracted driving:

  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Sprains and strains
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Disfigurement
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal bleeding

If you are injured in a distracted driving car accident, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney. If the driver was distracted because they were scrolling social media or on their cell phone, they may be held legally responsible for your injuries.

Will My Insurance Cover a Distracted Driving Accident?

Mississippi follows a fault-based insurance system. This means that if you are injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you are able to pursue a claim for damages against their insurance policy. Even if the accident was partially your fault, you may still be able to pursue compensation from another party’s insurance company.

It is important to work with an attorney from the beginning of the claims process. Insurance companies will try to get you to settle your case for less than it is worth. They may try to downplay your injuries or put you 100% at fault for the accident. You could end up receiving a payout that does not cover all of your accident-related losses or receive nothing at all. A lawyer can help ensure that you receive a fair and full settlement or set your case for trial to get the results you deserve.

Legal Ramifications

There are civil and criminal legal ramifications for driving while distracted. Depending on the situation, a distracted driver could face criminal penalties for violating the traffic law. They could also face civil penalties if they caused damage to another person’s property, injury, or death. The legal consequences are steep. If you were involved in a distracted driving accident, it is strongly recommended that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Distracted Driving Case?

While it is not legally required to hire a lawyer, it is generally recommended. A lawyer can help guide you through the process and work to protect your rights. If you were seriously injured by a distracted driver, you deserve compensation and should not have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Pursuing a claim can help ensure you receive the money you need to fully recover.

Contact Our Office to Schedule a Free Consultation 

Were you injured by a driver who was using social media while driving, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our personal injury lawyers have proven results. We know the law and will not give up until justice is served. 

Distracted driving is not only dangerous, it is deadly. Thousands of people are killed every year in distracted driving cases. Holding motorists accountable for their wrongdoing is essential to help stop the practice. Social media has become a part of our daily lives, but it does not belong on the roads. Help to save lives by putting away your phone and avoiding distractions while driving.

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