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Texas Distracted Driving Accidents Contribute To High Traffic Fatality Rate

Texas distracted driving accidents are a common occurrence throughout the state. But while other states have enacted all out bans against texting and driving, Texas has yet to enact a ban that would prohibit people from texting while driving, or from using a cell phone at all while driving.

Texas Motor Vehicle Accident Fatalities Higher than National Average
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently conducted an audit of fatalities caused by car accidents in the state and found that the number of fatalities has decreased from previous years. This reflects a national trend in car accident fatalities, which has seen a steady decline due to increased seat belt use. Unfortunately, Texas is still above the national average when it comes to motor vehicle accident fatalities.

In 2010, Texas had approximately 1.29 deaths per 100 million miles driven. While this does not seem like a high number, the national average is only 1.11 deaths per 100 miles driven. An estimated 3,028 people were killed in Texas motor vehicle accidents in the year 2010. Hundreds of those fatalities were caused by Texas distracted driving accidents, which account for nearly 81,000 of all Texas motor vehicle accidents each year.

Texas Distracted Driving Accidents Continue to be a Problem
One reason that Texas has such a high number of automobile accidents resulting in fatalities is that texting and driving, along with handheld cell phone use, are still allowed in much of the state. Only a few cities, such as Austin, Galveston, and Arlington, ban texting and driving.

Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill last year that would have banned texting and driving statewide, and he has continued to receive criticism for it. Currently, Texas bans the use of hand-held communication devices for drivers under the age of 18 with graduated licenses. Additionally, a statewide ban has been enacted for school zones, although in order to receive a citation for violation of that law, the school zone must have signs to alert drivers of the law.

Texas Distracted Driving Accident Victim Seriously Injured
Although drivers continue to drive distracted, recent public opinion polls have found that most drivers believe distracted driving to be dangerous. Unfortunately for the victims of distracted driving, they know all too well how dangerous it really is.

A recent truck accident lawsuit went to trial in Corpus Christi. In that case, a woman was struck by a Coca-Cola truck driver who was talking on a hands-free cell phone. Although Coca-Cola conceded that its driver was responsible for the accident, it claimed that the driver’s use of the cell phone did not cause the accident. Attorneys for the distracted driving accident victim argued that Coca-Cola was negligent in allowing its employees to talk on the phone while driving, even with a hands-free device.

The jury returned a verdict of $21.5 million in favor of the distracted driving accident victim, finding that the driver was responsible and that Coca-Cola did have a negligent policy in place. Part of the award included $10 million in punitive damages against the company.

This recent Texas distracted driving lawsuit shows that Texas juries are in agreement with many other drivers across the nation—distracted driving is dangerous and there are consequences for drivers who choose to drive distracted.

Texas Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Says “Just Put It Down”
Texas distracted driving accidents are far too common and can be prevented if drivers simply decide to not let distractions get in their way. Dallas motor vehicle accident attorney Kay L. Van Wey has seen first-hand how Texas distracted driving accidents can affect the victims’ lives. For more information, call a Texas distracted driving attorney at Van Wey, Presby & Williams today at (214) 329-1350 or (800) 489-5082.

By: Kay Van Wey | November 2nd, 2015

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