A lot of ink, data bytes, and TV time have been devoted to the ills of distracted driving in Illinois. Much of the focus has been concentrated on external gadgets like cell phones, GPS devices, and even car stereos which divert a driver’s attention long enough to cause an auto accident. However, it’s important to remember that distracted driving crashes can occur even when none of these devices are involved.
An incident over the holiday weekend in Springfield illustrates this point. On the evening of Friday, July 5 around 5:45pm, a 38-year old woman was driving eastbound on Ash Street just past Fifth Street and a bit west of Iles Park when she slowed down for traffic congestion. But a 35-year old man in a car behind her said that he “looked down briefly” and didn’t see the stopped traffic in front of him. The man’s car rear-ended the woman’s vehicle, and the 38-year old had to be taken to a Springfield hospital due to her injuries. He was cited by police for failing to reduce speed.
It’s abundantly clear that the man’s distracted driving will place the liability for the crash on his shoulders, even though he may have only taken his eyes off the road for a few seconds at most. As a result, the woman has solid grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against him. She may be entitled to collect reimbursement for her medical costs, which may include ambulance charges, treatment expenses, medications, and future physical therapy sessions. If she missed work due to the crash, she could receive any wages she would have earned. There’s even a slight possibility that the jury could award her monetary damages for pain and suffering as well.
This auto accident shows the dangers of drivers diverting their attention from the road for even a very short time – and the potential consequences of this distraction.