Driving is an integral part of modern life. Regardless of whether we live in rural, urban, or suburban areas, most of us rely on road transportation to get where we need to go. Our roadways are full of drivers trying to get somewhere as quickly as our laws and sense of safety will allow.

However, each driver has a responsibility not only for safeguarding their lives (and their passengers’ lives), but also for safeguarding the lives of other drivers and their passengers. Driving is inherently dangerous. It requires both being educated on driving laws and obeying those driving laws.

But with the explosion of 24/7 technology at our fingertips, our attention spans are increasingly shorter, in part because we feel compelled to stay connected to the digital world all the time. This compulsion creates a much greater potential for distracted driving, as our digital devices join the other things that can take our attention from the road and cause serious, and sometimes deadly, vehicles accidents.

Distracted driving is defined as anything that takes our attention away from safe driving. It is not limited to just texting or calling while driving, but can include other activities that can take our attention away from the road.

Distracted driving can be classified into several different types of distractions, including:

  • These distractions include digital devise use, as well as other actions that involve removing our hands from the steering wheel. Common manual distractions include eating and drinking, reaching into to the backseat or other areas of the car, playing with the radio, adjusting temperature, and personal grooming.
  • Visual distractions are objects that take a person’s eyes away from the road, and prevent them from making adjustments to their driving. Looking out the window or in the rearview mirror at any person, object, or event can cause a traffic accident.
  • Though both visual and manual distractions can cause cognitive interruptions to driving attention, a driver’s cognitive distractions alone can lead to a traffic accident. Cognitive distractions are emotional and mental distractions (daydreaming is a common one) that lead to a general lack of alertness to the changes that happen constantly on the road and at the wheel.

When these types of distractions occur to drivers, they are more likely not to notice changes in traffic and in their own driving. These can include other cars slowing or stopping, their failure to maintain their lanes, or even traffic accidents ahead of them. Distracted driving can often cause traffic accidents or make traffic accidents that have already occurred worse.

According to DriversEd.com, over 50% percent of drivers admit to texting when driving alone. The actual percentage is probably higher. This makes the chances of distracted driving accidents very likely. During rush hour, for example, if over half the drivers are distracted at once, the risk of property damage, physical injury, or death is great.

Distracted driving is an unacceptable cause of accidents. If you or a loved one have been harmed by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, medical bills, missed time at work, and emotional distress.

You should seek the advice of an experienced Fall River distracted driving attorney to see what your claim may be worth and to determine your next course of legal action. Call the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. at (401) 751-8855 today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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    Rhode Island Distracted Driving Laws

    In 2017, Rhode Island issued over 1,000 tickets for distracted driving, the highest number recorded for the state, and more than double the number of distracted driving tickets given in 2015.

    The increase in distracted driving tickets reflects the how much technology has infiltrated every moment of our lives, including while we are driving. However, there is no excuse for the reckless conduct of distracted drivers, who can always wait to use their digital devices when it safe to do so.

    Fortunately, Rhode Island has implemented updated traffic laws that recognize that technology is a major contributor to many traffic infractions and accidents.

    On June 1, 2018, Rhode Island began to diligently enforce handheld phone use laws for drivers to help make state roads safer. The new legislation prohibits the use of cell phones or other wireless devices, such as headphones in both ears, while driving. Though voice-activated or hands-free devices such as Bluetooth are still legal to an extent, hand-held devices are illegal to use on Rhode Island roads.

    The consequence of using a hand-held device, or being seen texting or talking while driving, is a fine up to $100. The law promotes the use of hands-free devices by waiving first-time offenses with the proof of a purchase of a hands-free wireless device.

    This law is intended to reduce the frequency of distracted driving accidents. However, all drivers in Rhode Island and the Fall Rivers area still need to be vigilant and aware of distracted drivers, and make sure they are not driving distracted themselves.

    Why Do I Need an Attorney for a Distracted Driving Accident?

    Even if your distracted driving case seems open and shut, you will need an attorney to get access to all the evidence in your case. An attorney will be able to gather ample electronic evidence, such as phone records that prove a driver was texting, making calls, or otherwise using a handheld device while driving.

    If you were injured in an accident caused by a reckless and negligent driver who was driving distracted, you need time to heal instead of trying to build a comprehensive and compelling case.

    A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will do the heavy lifting for you, gathering witness testimony, inspecting the damage to recreate the events leading up to the accident, and ensuring that the parties at fault are held responsible for your injuries.

    Even if you were partially at fault for your accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Rhode Island uses the doctrine of comparative negligence, which offers settlements deducted based on the percentage of blame applied to each party that is less than 50% at fault for the accident.

    For example, if both parties are distracted, and texting while driving, but one party was still following the laws of the road, that party may be assigned 30% of the blame in a case where they are seeking a $100,000 settlement, which means that party will receive $70,000.

    If you were a victim of distracted driving, it is crucial that you hire the services of a personal injury attorney who will be able to represent you. In any vehicle accident where you or your loved ones have suffered serious injury or death, you need an attorney to help you hold the distracted driver accountable for their actions.

    Why Should I Choose the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd.?

    At the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd., our attorneys have almost six decades of experience combined with an in-depth understanding of the modern world and its dangers. We are a family-owned and operated firm that is highly proficient at handling modern personal injury cases. We have proven results in litigating car accident cases caused by distracted driving.

    Distracted driving can sometimes be difficult to prove, especially when the distractions are cognitive or were seen only by the victim. In those cases, our team steps in to pursue hard evidence of a driver’s negligence to present to the court.

    The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. has the investigative experience, extensive knowledge of the updated laws that govern Rhode Island drivers, and a compassion for our clients. We treat each case with the attention it deserves, and offer our clients honest and accessible advice so they can make informed decisions.

    We understand that this can be a trying time in your life. We want to make sure you regain control and are able to pursue legal compensation without being stressed about how you’re going to pay for it. That’s why all of our Fall River services are offered on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything until we win your case.

    Contact the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. Today

    If you or your loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, schedule your free consultation with us today at (401) 751-8855.

    Our car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. offer personalized legal services that can help you get back on your feet after a harrowing distracted driving car accident.

    Fill out our digital new client form today below, begin a live chat on our website, or call our offices at (401) 751-8855 to let us begin to evaluate your case.

    Written By: Ronald J. Resmini

    Last Updated : Wednesday, December 20, 2023