Recently released footage showed that a New Mexico bus driver named Jeremy Perea was eating and drinking when he was supposed to be devoting all of his attention to driving his bus. Given that both of his hands were off of the wheel at one point, it should come as no surprise to learn that his actions resulted in his bus smashing into a line of stopped cars.
Fortunately, no one was killed in the incident. Unfortunately, neither the cars nor the car drivers emerged unscathed. One injured driver has already settled, while the other two are currently suing for compensation in civil court. In the end, it seems probable that this incident will become an extremely expensive lesson for the city of Albuquerque as a whole.
How the Case Illustrates the Need for Distracted Driving Laws
Jeremy Perea is not the first person to cause a motor vehicle accident because of their distracted driving. For that matter, he will not be the last, not least because of the increasing use of mobile devices in our daily lives.
In short, distracted driving is a catch-all term for driving while engaged in other activities. Common examples range from eating and drinking to sending text messages and watching movies on mobile devices. Engaging in these activities can lead to distractions while driving, which can be classified as either visual, manual, or cognitive in nature. Like their names suggest, visual means that the driver does not have their eyes on the road, manual means that the driver does not have their hands on the steering wheel, while cognitive means that the driver does not have their mind focused on their driving.
This is problematic because distracted driving causes an enormous increase in the chance that the driver will get into a motor vehicle accident. In fact, the NHTSA claims that an astonishing 80 percent of motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted driving. Furthermore, this is particularly common among drivers in their 20s, who make up 27 percent of the drivers involved in distracted driving cases with fatalities. Read more statistics here.
As a result, it is no coincidence that most of the states have legislated distracted driving laws in an attempt to combat the problem. For example, the state of New York bans the use of hand-held cellphones as well as the use of cell-phones for text messaging, which makes sense because the first keeps drivers’ hands on their steering wheels while the second keeps drivers’ minds focused on the road. Fortunately, there is reason to believe that distracted driving laws combined with increasing education about the issue will successfully curb the practice with time and effort. After all, people used to be much more relaxed about the use of seat belts, which has since significantly changed for the better.
Get Legal Help If An Accident Occurs
If either you or someone that you know has been involved in a motor vehicle or bus accident caused by a case of distracted driving, please seek not only medical attention but legal help as well. Such cases can have serious consequences, meaning that you need a legal professional on your side whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant in a distracted driving lawsuit.