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Fayetteville Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys

Fayetteville Car Accident Attorneys – Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is all too common across the nation, including in Fayetteville, Arkansas. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 Americans lost their lives in distracted driving collisions in 2020, 8 percent of the fatal collisions in 2020 involved distracted drivers, and 29,000 plus drivers died in distracted driving crashes from 2012 to 2020. In Arkansas alone, distracted driving has resulted in nearly 60,000 crashes every year. Nine people in the United States are killed each day in crashes involving distracted drivers.

What is Distracted Driving?

The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three main categories of distraction:

  • Cognitive – your mind wanders while driving. e.g., Driving while drowsy or angry.
  • Manual – your hands are not on the steering wheel. e.g., Texting. smoking
  • Visual – your eyes are not on the road ahead of you or checking the surrounding area and other drivers.

Taking one’s eyes off the road or hands off the steering wheel may not seem like a big deal. However, taking eyes off the road for even as little as 5 seconds can result in a horrific crash. No one knows what the car in front of you may do, such as stop suddenly, have a pedestrian walk in front of your car, have someone cut in front of you, or have an animal suddenly appear.

Common Driver Distractions in Fayetteville Car Accidents

  • Carrying on a conversation with someone while on the cellphone.
  • Texting.
  • Checking news, weather, or sports online.
  • Checking emails online.
  • Watching videos.
  • Adjusting the radio, CD player, or other in-vehicle entertainment devices.
  • Posting on Snapchat or other social media platforms.
  • Playing online games.
  • Reading online while driving.
  • Reading while driving. e.g., Newspaper, flyer, grocery list.
  • Reaching for objects in a bag, box, or purse.
  • Taking videos or pictures while driving.
  • Programming an in-vehicle device. e.g. GPS
  • Talking to a passenger.
  • Turning to settle kids or animals down in the backseat.
  • Grooming while driving. e.g., Putting on makeup, shaving.
  • Drinking or eating while driving.
  • Moving objects in the vehicle. e.g.children, pets, unexpected insects
  • Setting a vehicle’s temperature while driving.
  • Fiddling with side mirrors, adjusting your seat or navigational devices.
  • Reaching for objects on the floor or out of reach on the front or backseat.
  • Smoking.
  • Rubbernecking and other outside distractions.

Distracted Driving Laws in Arkansas

The State has expanded distracted driving laws to ban any sort of “wireless interactive communication.” The law includes banning the following:

  • Posting to social media.
  • Emailing.
  • Playing games while driving.

Furthermore, Arkansas banned handheld cellphone use in the following areas:

  • In highway construction zones.
  • In school zones.
  • By drivers under the age of 18.
  • By school bus drivers.
  • Any wireless communication.

In Arkansas, driving while texting is a primary offense, a violation for which the police can stop a driver and issue a citation if they see a violation. Secondary enforcement is also used, meaning an officer can issue a citation only if there is another valid reason to stop the driver. In other words, the method of enforcing the law is up to the police.

For a first offense, a driver may be fined $250. For subsequent offenses, the fine may be as high as $500. The fines are doubled if a distracted driver is involved in a crash. Arkansas is focused on controlling cellphone use while driving. That said, there are exceptions to Arkansas’s distracted driving laws. They include:

  • Talking to colleagues or personnel.
  • Reporting illegal activities and crimes.
  • Contacting the emergency hotline for help.
  • Contacting the emergency hotline to avert injury to someone or property

Paul’s Law: To Prohibit Drivers of Motor Vehicles from Using Handheld Wireless Telephones to Engage in Text Messaging” is the law regulating texting while driving in Arkansas. (Arkansas statute 27-51-1504)

Arkansas also has an additional law that targets distracted driving, the “Fewer Distractions Mean Safer Driving Act,” restricting cellphone use while driving. (Arkansas statute 27-51-1601)

Common Types of Injuries in Fayetteville Distracted Driving Car Accidents

Most of the injuries in the wake of a distracted driving accident are similar. However, each situation is different; each individual is affected differently, and each lawsuit or claim filed is different. In Arkansas, you have up to three years under Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105 to file a claim.

Common injuries sustained in a distracted driving accident may include:

  • Whiplash
  • Amputations
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Quadriplegia
  • Paraplegia
  • Broken, fractured bones
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Extensive bruising
  • Back injuries
  • Burns
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Internal injuries to organs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Lacerations
  • Knee injuries
  • Hand and wrist injuries
  • Facial trauma
  • Disfiguring scars
  • Neck injuries
  • Dislocations (shoulder, hips)
  • Cervical dislocations
  • Foot and ankle injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Road rash
  • Crush injuries
  • Muscle, tendon, and ligament damage

Contact Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. Today

If you were involved in a Fayetteville distracted driving accident, call us at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield at (479) 361-3575. Our dedicated team of distracted driving lawyers is here to help.

Call us today for a free initial consultation and to find out what you can expect should you file a personal injury lawsuit. We know you have questions, and we can answer them. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield is just one quick call away: (479) 361-3575.


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