Houston Texting & Driving Accident Attorneys
Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the U.S. Among the different types of distraction, texting and cell phone use leads the way in causes of motor vehicle collisions. These accidents often result in serious injuries, permanently debilitating injuries, and even death.
The most commonly-used analogy to represent the dangers of texting while driving has been provided by NHTSA:
"Texting…involves manual, visual and cognitive distraction
Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field while blindfolded."
Did you know nearly 20% of all traffic fatalities each year could be avoided had it not been for a driver who was texting while driving? This is shocking, especially considering that texting and driving has been outlawed in most states. In Texas, all "novice" drivers (those who've had their licenses for less than a year) are banned from using cells while driving in any capacity. Texas has also banned texting and driving for bus drivers and drivers in school zones. While texting may not be outlawed for every driver, it can be considered negligence if it contributes to a collision.
Driving While Texting: Is It Really That Bad?
34 states and the District of Columbia currently have laws on the books prohibiting people from driving while texting. In 31 of those states, it's considered a primary offense, which means an officer can pull you over just for texting. Don't think that means people aren't still doing it. A study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in December of 2011 reveals that the percentage of drivers who texted while driving actually increased from 0.6 % of drivers in 2009 to 0.9 % in 2010. In New York, where texting and driving was only made a primary offense in July 2011, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) had issued 4,634 tickets for the crime by the middle of September.
If so many of us are doing it, can texting while driving be that dangerous?
The answer, unfortunately, is a resounding yes. In the same study that revealed the percentage of drivers who text and drive, the NHTSA found that reading or writing texts behind the wheel increases your chances of having an accident by 2300%! About 6,000 deaths and half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year. Many of these deaths involve accidents with large trucks. In general, an accident involving a truck is more likely to result in a fatality, due to the sheer size of the vehicle. When you also consider the fact that a distracted truck driver is 23.2 times more likely to crash than a driver paying full attention to the road, you quickly see how deadly a problem it can become.
The danger is so real that technology developers are doing their best to fight fire with fire. Text Zapper, a new app available for smartphones, which disables them from sending messages while vehicles are in motion, using Trakker GPS technology to determine the speed and position of the car. Of course, for apps such as Text Zapper to work, people actually have to download them.
Young Drivers & Cell Phone Use
Another worrisome statistic is that a majority of drivers who choose to text while driving are young drivers typically between the ages of 16 to 24. More than half of all teenagers who own cell phones between the ages of 16 and 17 say that they frequently text or talk on the phone while driving, according to research from the Pew Research Foundation. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 are already considered "inexperienced" and at a higher risk for being involved in an accident. Combine inexperience with distraction and it is a recipe for disaster. Research also seems to indicate that teenagers who are passengers being driven by other teenagers who text and drive are less likely to speak up about texting. When other teens don't speak up, it can translate into a texting and driving accident that could end up costing them their lives.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit with Arnold & Itkin's Help
Victims of texting and driving accidents may be able to file lawsuits against the negligent driver. While the driver that hit you may have already incurred a fine or other punishment due to a traffic citation, there is still legal action you can take. By procuring the help of an injury attorney, victims have the ability to fight for compensation to recover the cost of medical bills, rehabilitation, damages, lost wages, and noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. Arnold & Itkin can speak with you if you or a loved one was involved in an accident due to texting and driving. Victims of these can often be seriously injured, and even killed in some serious cases. Statistically, a majority of drivers are likely to be involved in at least one collision in their lifetimes that is caused by distracted driving. Don't let the negligent driver get away with their actions.
If you would like to take legal action to recover financial compensation for the damages and injuries that you sustained, please contact a Houston injury lawyer from our firm for a free evaluation of your case today!