How to Prove Someone Was Texting and Other Distracted Driving Cases

How to Prove Someone Was Texting and Other Distracted Driving Cases

by / Friday, 13 November 2020 / Published in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Person driving while using a cell phone and holding a cup of coffee.

Distracted driving is a far too common occurrence. According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, 2,782 Michigan car crashes in 2019 involved cell phone use. But it’s important to remember that cell phones are just one way distracted driving can occur. Distracted driving can also involve eating or drinking, adjusting a GPS system, putting on makeup, reading something, messing with the radio, or reaching for something that fell on the floor. Ultimately, anything that causes a driver to take their eyes or attention off the road or their hands off the steering wheel can be considered distracted driving.

As common as distracted driving is, it’s not always easy to prove. And some forms of distracted driving are easier to prove than others. For example, if a driver was generally daydreaming at the time of the crash, that’s not something that is going to involve tangible evidence. But if a driver was using their phone when they crashed, there may be evidence involved. So what options are there for proving that a driver was distracted when they crashed?

Phone Records & Social Media

When car crashes are caused by someone who was using their phone, drivers often try to deny it. But it may be possible to obtain phone records that prove otherwise. In a situation like this, you might not be able to obtain phone records on your own, but a car accident lawyer may be able to get the records you need to prove your case. Or if a driver was using social media when they caused the car accident, there’s a chance that there might be posts that prove what they were doing when they crashed.

Eyewitness Accounts

Testimony from witnesses can be an extremely valuable type of evidence in a distracted driving case. If a passenger in your car, nearby pedestrian, occupant of another car, or other bystander near the scene of your accident saw that the at-fault driver was distracted at the time of the crash, they could be called upon to testify. Police officers may also talk to witnesses and include their comments in their police report. If a police officer witnessed the driver being distracted at the time of the crash, they could also provide witness testimony.

Video Footage

Dashcams have grown in popularity in recent years, but in some cases, there may also be footage from security cameras or cameras at intersections that could be used as evidence. There’s also a chance that bystanders around the scene of the accident were taking video on their cell phones that might show the driver being distracted.

Vehicle Data

Newer model cars often record a lot of information about driver behavior, such as speed and sudden braking. If a car’s system is capable of recording such information, it may be possible to subpoena those records.

Driver Admission

Sometimes, drivers don’t deny that they were distracted at the time of an accident. During the immediate aftermath of the crash, drivers might be so startled that they admit to eating while driving or using their phone while driving.

Get Help With a Distracted Driving Case

Since getting evidence for a distracted driving accident can be difficult, it’s very important to make sure you have a lawyer on your side who knows how to get the records you need. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to talk to an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer who has helped many people who have been in your shoes. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your case.

Image: iStock / sasirin pamai