Houston Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
Hold Negligent Motorists Accountable to Rebuild Your Life
In 2010, 3,000+ victims died as a result of distracted driving accidents. With more than 32,000 people dying in U.S. traffic crashes per year, distracted driving statistics may not seem like such a big deal. The truth is quite the contrary. Although distracted driving does not account for the majority of vehicular deaths per year, it does contribute significantly to the number of injuries. Although individual states have enacted many laws regarding distracted driving, most drivers continue with such practices. Those most at risk for causing a distracted driving accident are drivers under the age of 20, who with their inexperience combined with distraction cause accidents more frequently than other groups of people.
Were you injured in an accident with a distracted driver? Talk to an attorney at our Houston law office today to see how we can help: (888) 493-1629.
The Three Major Forms of Distraction
Distractions come in all shapes and sizes and are typically split up into three different categories:
- Any time a driver's eyes are not on the road, this is a visual distraction.
- When a driver is not thinking clearly about the situation at hand, this is a cognitive distraction.
- When a driver's hands are not on the wheel, this constitutes a manual distraction.
Per the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the chief causes of distracted driving accidents are cell phone use, reaching for an object in the car, looking at something else (such as rubbernecking), reading, and applying makeup. Many people assume that practice makes perfect and that if they are used to multi-tasking while driving then they will be safe. Quite the contrary is true. Statistics show that those who drive distracted more frequently are at a higher risk for an accident.
Where Does Distracted Driving Occur Most?
Studies reveal that almost 70% of all car accidents occur 10 miles from a driver’s home. This is primarily due to distracted driving. Rather than focus on the speed limit, the traffic around them, or their driving etiquette, drivers think about things they need to do, places they need to go, and what they are going to have for their next meal. As a result, their muscles relax, their mind is at ease, and their senses are dulled. This gives drivers a false sense of security, even though they are still traveling down the road. They are ignorant of their immediate surroundings because the background is so familiar. This makes drivers who are close to home some of the most distracted operators on the road.
Drivers in a new area by themselves are another category of people who may be distracted while driving. A driver in a new area will have increased “driving sense” due to being in an unfamiliar location. However, despite their heightened driving sensitivity, other variables will nullify those amplified perceptions. A driver in a new area may be looking at their map to make sure they are going the right way, or they may be trying to read road signs that they are unfamiliar with. Any time a driver focuses on these things, they are driving distracted.
Texting & Driving Rules for Commercial Drivers
While texting and driving is illegal in nearly all states, there are few that only enforce these rules on novice drivers, if at all. With recent reports continuing to shed light on the severe danger of texting and driving, it seems like it may only be a matter of time before bans are in place across the country. Some research has even shown that texting while driving results in nearly 24 times the risk for accidents involving commercial vehicle drivers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has decided to step in and take action to help prevent texting and driving accidents. Specifically, they have published new rules that restrict texting while driving or use of a hand-held mobile device for all truck drivers operating a CMV.
How this Rule Will Impact Truck Drivers
The penalties and consequences for texting while driving vary depending on the state the offense took place, the number of offenses a driver has committed, and any other contributing factors. In general, truck or bus drivers found to be texting while operating their commercial vehicle can expect to face rather steep penalties.
The following may be enforced for texting while driving a CMV:
- Driver disqualification for 120 days
- Fines ranging up to $2,750
- Up to $11,000 in fines for employers allowing / requiring hand-held devices
For commercial motor vehicle drivers who have multiple texting while driving offenses on their record, disqualification by the FMCSA is a serious possibility. This could mean loss of livelihood for truck drivers, demonstrate the seriousness with which the FMCSA is approaching texting while driving violations.
Injured by a Truck Driver Who Texted While Driving?
The numbers for texting while driving accidents can be shocking. Despite this, many drivers still engage in these dangerous habits on a regular basis. When commercial drivers choose to endanger other drivers on the road by texting while driving, it can lead to even more severe consequences. If you have been hurt in an accident involving a distracted commercial driver, make sure you seek compassionate and skilled counsel right away.
How Hiring a Houston Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Can Help
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, then you should speak with an attorney from our firm. At Arnold & Itkin, we are here to help those injured due to the recklessness and negligence of another. Those who drive distracted should be made accountable for their actions. Depending on your accident's severity, you could be suffering from chronic pain that needs continued care. You may also need compensation for lost wages or compensation for rehabilitation costs.
Whatever the particulars of your case, it would be best to speak with an attorney from our firm so that you can find out exactly what options you have. Contact us today!