The High Cost Of Distracted Driving

20 October 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog

"Distracted driving" used to be the person who swerved to miss hitting an animal, fell asleep at the wheel, or tried to put on makeup while driving. Distracted driving has become so much more complicated since technology (e.g., phones and "phablets") went mobile.

The state of Nevada only very recently enacted laws regarding distracted driving and mobile devices. Still, if the laws were not enough of a deterrent, the resulting costs of this type of distracted driving should be. Consider the following and how it affects you as a victim of mobile-device-distracted driving.Then consult with a personal injury lawyer to recoup your own financial losses.

Percentage of Mobile Device-Related Crashes

Even with the enactment of "no phone zone" laws, there were still accidents. It was down only slightly from the reports in 2014, when there were 291 fatalities due to people looking at their phones instead of at the road. (By the way, those 291 dead did not come from 291 cars; only 268 crashes resulted in those 291 deaths. This shows that the odds of being a passenger in a vehicle hit by a distracted driver does not elevate chances for survival, or that being the driver means that only the driver will die.) There were still 5% fatalities occurring in 2017. That said, the loss of life is still too high a cost for something as simple as setting a phone down while driving.

After Lives, the Next Biggest Expense Is Property

Cars in a distracted driving accident are valued around 10 to 20 grand. Some higher-priced cars have been involved, but they are usually the victims' cars, since the higher-priced cars have on-board systems for hands-free calling and navigation. Even if two cars of similar value on the high end of that spectrum collide, you could be looking at total damages coming close to the sale price of one of those vehicles.

If the distracted driver hits other vehicles, property, or structures, the total repair expense soars closer to the mid to upper tens of thousands, or low-level hundreds of thousands. Who pays for that? The auto insurance companies might, but the distracted driver's policy will skyrocket and make it impossible to keep his/her car insured. As for the victims, if they walk away from it, they are out of transportation for several days or more until the insurance company resolves the claim.

Another High Cost of Distracted Driving: Medical Bills

Medical bills are expensive enough. If you do not have insurance at the moment, you are stuck with everything from the ambulance ride to the crutches or neck collar you have to wear. These bills, in conjunction with the above expenses, are all things you can legally sue that distracted driver for.