While certain social media sites were popular before the advent of the smartphone, such as MySpace and Facebook, it cannot be doubted that most social media platforms’ popularity soared with the introduction of the mobile device.
All of a sudden, we started seeing more and more people looking at their phone while walking down the street, and even more shockingly, while driving.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), distracted driving has increased in every state except Vermont in recent years. It’s no doubt that part of this rise in distracted driving is due to the increased popularity and use of social media.
Learn how social media use can increase your chances of a distracted driving accident and also jeopardize the success of your accident claim after the incident.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving kills nine and inures more than 1,000 people each day.
While smartphone use is not the only form of distracted driving, it is one of the most dangerous because it can take a driver’s eyes and hands off the wheel for an extended period of time. For instance, sending a text can take your eyes off the road for approximately five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, this is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
Smartphone use while driving involves three forms of distraction:
Visual: Taking your eyes off the road;
Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel; and
Cognitive: Taking your mind off the task of driving.
Apps Play a Role in Car Accidents
Smartphone apps have lured drivers’ eyes away from the road and contributed to the first rise in fatal car accidents in 50 years.
Snapchat, in particular, provided a filter that allowed drivers to post the speed at which they were driving. Often, their “Don’t Snap and Drive” disclaimer on their platform did not discourage many drivers from taking part in this dangerous activity.
Additionally, the navigation app Waze rewards drivers with points when they report car accidents or road hazards they see during their commute.
While some app developers have updated their platforms to create a less distracting, more simplistic “Driving Mode” interface, there is no doubt that having these apps on at all while driving serves as a major distraction to motorists.
Don’t Post on Social Media After an Accident
In addition to increasing your risk of a distracted driving accident, social media use can also jeopardize your accident claim after the crash.
It’s never a good idea to post images of your car accident or your injuries to social media after an accident. The other driver’s attorney may use these posts as evidence that you did not suffer much from the accident. They may claim that you were well enough to take photos after the crash, and that you are healing just fine after the incident if you can post images to social media.
After a car accident, it’s in your best interest to remain as private as possible. Only speak with your attorney about your accident and injuries. Doing otherwise may give your insurance company or the other driver’s attorney the basis for their claim that the crash did not cause you as much harm as it did.
What to Do After an Accident
There is no doubt that social media use can be detrimental to you, both before and after a car accident. Avoiding it can help protect your rights. Additionally, taking the following steps can help ensure you recover the compensation you deserve after an accident:
Check to see if anyone requires medical attention. If so, contact emergency medical services as soon as possible.
Contact the police. The responding officer’s police report can help bolster your claim that you did not cause the accident.
Exchange information. Collect the other driver’s contact information, insurance information, and vehicle information, as well as any witnesses’ contact information.
Take photos. Capture images of any physical damage and injuries sustained at the scene.
Seek medical attention. Get treatment for all injuries, even those that seem minor. Make sure to retain all medical records.
Look around you. See if there are any nearby security or traffic cameras whose footage can prove the other driver’s negligence.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A qualified attorney who is knowledgeable in your state’s laws will be able to help you navigate the legal process more successfully.
The state of North Carolina enforces “at-fault” insurance laws, which means you will recover damages from the liable driver (and their insurance company) in the event of an accident. This is why it’s vital to collect as much evidence as you can to give the other driver’s insurer no reason to deny your claim.
Involved in a North Carolina Car Accident? Hire a Heavyweight
If you have been injured in a North Carolina car accident due to another’s negligence, we’re here to help. At Lanier Law Group, P.A., we have dedicated ourselves to protecting the rights of the injured and the wronged across the state since 1997.
Our founding partner, Lisa Lanier, has committed herself to providing a high level of client service, compassion, and aggressive representation for every one of her clients.
Put a heavyweight in your corner. Contact Lanier Law Group, P.A. at (855) 757-4204 to schedule a free consultation.