Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents all over the United States. Things are not much different in Texas either and the statistics for the state are quite grim.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in 2012 there were 90,378 motor vehicle accidents in the state that involved distracted drivers. These accidents caused 18,468 serious injuries and 453 fatalities. So, this means that about one in every four motor vehicle accident in Texas involves a distracted driver.
Cell phone use is obviously a major source of distraction, and it extends well beyond simple phone calls. According to statistics published by TxDOT, in 2011 drivers distracted by cell phone use were involved in more than 3,000 vehicle crashes. Of these, 40 led to fatalities. Distracted driving is worse now than it has ever been.
Texting while driving is extremely dangerous and drivers are 23 times more likely to cause an accident when they are texting behind the wheel.
After all, the act of texting causes the driver to take his or her mind and eyes off the road for long periods of time. That is why it is not surprising to note that many local regions of Texas have banned texting while driving. Although there is no statewide prohibition on using the cell phone when driving, a responsible driver should never use the phone while driving.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Below are some pointers to help drivers in Texas avoid distractions while driving:
Put the cell phone down to avoid distraction. Drivers should avoid talking, texting, surfing the Web and performing other tasks on their hand-held devices while they are behind the wheel. Drivers who need to send a text message or email or make a phone call should safely pull over to the side of the road.
Reducing the use of in-vehicle technology will curb distractions by a large measure. In-vehicle technology can refer to the music and navigational systems and the air conditioning and/or heating units. Drivers should not fiddle with these dials and buttons while driving.
Passengers can be a source of distraction. It is not only using in-vehicle technology that can distract drivers, but the behavior of passengers can also cause a driver to divert his or her mind and/or eyes from the task of driving.
Other distracting tasks behind the wheel may include reaching for an object that’s fallen on the floor, putting on makeup while driving, and reading a book behind the wheel. Avoid these and any other behaviors that divert attention from the road.
Request the passengers avoid behaving in a manner that is distracting for the driver.Children too can distract a driver when he or she is driving. So be sure to educate them on the dangers of distracted driving and how their behavior can distract drivers.
Distracted driving not only jeopardizes the safety of the driver and the passengers in a vehicle, but also that of other motorists on the road. A victim of a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver is entitled to pursue compensation for damages.
However, putting together a convincing case can be a challenging task. That is why claimants should seek the help of a personal injury attorney who is familiar with traffic accident cases and can help establish driver distraction as a cause or contributing factor.
Remember, a phone call or a text is never worth a life lost. It can wait.
By: Kay Van Wey | November 6th, 2015