If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you deserve to be compensated. The Wichita car accident lawyers at Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys can help you demand what you’re owed. We’re dedicated to standing up for the rights of distracted driving accident victims in Wichita and throughout Kansas. Contact us today for more details about your legal options in a free initial consultation.

Common Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents

Here are some of the most common distracted driving behaviors and activities that contribute to accidents in Wichita, KS:

  • Looking at text messages, emails, videos, or other online content
  • Scrolling through or writing text messages
  • Searching for items that dropped onto the floor of the vehicle
  • Adjusting music volume, heating and air conditioning, or other dashboard controls
  • Rubbernecking at billboards, crashes, or other items of interest on the side of the road
  • Combing hair, applying makeup, shaving, or changing clothes
  • Eating food, drinking beverages, opening packages, or smoking
  • Rummaging in purses, wallets, or bags to find items
  • Turning around to interact with children, pets, or other passengers
  • Becoming absorbed in conversations, media, or daydreams

Distracted Driving Laws in Wichita, Kansas

Distracted driving is undoubtedly a problem in both Wichita and throughout Kansas. In a single recent year, driver inattention, mobile phone use, and various other distractions were reported as contributing factors in nearly 14,000 Kansas car accidents.

Although driver distraction takes many forms, one of the most prevalent and dangerous types of distraction comes from handheld cell phones and electronic devices. To discourage distracted driving behaviors and reduce the rate of distraction-related car accidents, Kansas’ cell phone laws include the following:

  • All drivers are prohibited from texting on handheld cell phones or manually entering text on any handheld communications device while driving.
  • Drivers between the ages of 14 and 17 years old who are driving with learner’s permits cannot use cell phones or other wireless communications devices for any purpose while driving, even if they are hands-free.

Several important exceptions apply to the statewide ban on texting while driving, including the following:

  • Dialing a number to make otherwise hands-free phone calls
  • Voice-operated technology that doesn’t require the manual manipulation of a device
  • Receiving or reporting information about emergencies, traffic alerts, or hazardous weather alerts
  • Receiving navigation- or vehicle-related messages on phones
  • Using a device to prevent property damage or injury to another person
  • Law enforcement officers and emergency service workers acting within the scope of their official duties

 

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Types of Distracted Driving

Anything that takes a driver’s full attention away from the task of safe driving can contribute to a distracted driving accident. Experts commonly sort driver distractions into one or more of the three following categories:

  • Manual distractions– Anything that causes a driver to take one or both hands off the wheel is a manual distraction. Common examples include eating or drinking, personal grooming, typing text messages, and reaching for fallen objects.
  • Visual distractions– Visual distractions require a driver to take their eyes off the road. Common examples include turning back to passengers, checking the GPS, and reading texts.
  • Cognitive distractions– Cognitive distractions take the driver’s mind off the road. Common examples include talking to passengers, rubbernecking, and checking text messages.

The NHTSA refers to texting as “the most alarming distraction” because it combines all three types of distraction into a single activity. Research suggests it takes about five seconds to send or read the average text message. That time is long enough to cover the length of a football field while traveling at just 55 miles per hour.

Most Common Injuries in Car Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving

Distracted driving accidents commonly lead to injuries such as the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Facial injuries and dental trauma
  • Scarring and permanent disfigurement
  • Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
  • Partial or total paralysis
  • Dislocated or broken bones
  • Traumatic amputation and loss of limb
  • Bruises, burns, lacerations, and puncture wounds
  • Abdominal injuries and internal bleeding
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Other psychological and emotional injuries

Who Is Liable for a Distracted Driving Crash in Wichita, Kansas?

If you were involved in a Wichita car accident with a distracted driver, you might assume that the other driver is automatically liable for any injuries or property damage you suffered. However, it isn’t always that simple — even if the other driver was ticketed for distracted driving.

To recover compensation from the other driver, you must show they behaved negligently, their negligent behavior caused the accident, and they are legally liable for your injuries. This requires compelling evidence, such as the following:

  • The police crash report– These official reports contain valuable information, such as whether any tickets were issued for distracted driving violations.
  • Photos of the accident scene– A picture could show no skid marks on the road, indicating the driver was not paying attention and never applied the brakes.
  • Video footage of the crash– Footage from traffic cameras or dashcams can show what happened in the moments before, during, and after the crash.
  • Eyewitness statements– Statements from third-party witnesses can act as reliable, unbiased confirmation of the facts of the case.
  • Expert witness testimony– Experts such as accident reconstruction specialists can offer professional insights into the causes and effects of the wreck.

Get In Touch with a Distracted Driving Lawyer in Wichita, Kansas Today

If you suffered injuries in a Wichita car accident caused by a distracted driver, Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys are here to help. Contact our firm today for a free consultation with a distracted driving lawyer in Wichita, Kansas.