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Recent data released from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) shows an uptick in fatal distracted driving crashes in major metropolitan areas of Texas.
Major economic hubs like Dallas, Harris and Travis Counties saw a year-to-year increase between 2016 to 2017 in the number of people killed due to distracted driving crashes.
Bexar County, the home of San Antonio, saw a 27 percent decrease in fatal distracted driving crashes. However, the county also had the highest number of distracted driving crashes in the state. It also had the highest number of deadly crashes totaling 45.
According to an AAA Texas press release, distracted driving crashes are a national epidemic. The release states, that distracted driving kills an average of nine people and injures 1,000 each day. These number likely underestimates the problem because most drivers do not admit to distracting cell phone use after a crash.
Distracted driving is the third leading cause of fatal injuries behind speeding and driving under the influence. Numerous studies around distracted driving demonstrate the following:
- Drivers are two to eight times more likely to crash when taking their eyes off the road to text, check social media or surf the web.
- Taking your eyes off the road for two seconds double your chances of being involved in a crash.
- Almost 60 percent of all teen crashes involved some form of driver inattention
- 12 percent of teen crashes involve cell phone use.
Because distracted driving crashes are such a high risk among teens, parents should discuss dangers like texting, trying to find the right playlist and talking on the phone while driving. Hands-free devices do not help with taking a driver’s mind off the road. Even picking up a device at a stop sign or stoplight can take your mind off driving for up to 27 seconds.
Guidelines to Avoid a Distracted Driving Crash
To avoid a deadly distracted driving crash, do the following:
- Put your device away. Putting your device out of sight will prevent the temptation to check notifications that appear.
- Preprogram directions. If you need to use a navigation system program your destination before driving.
- Pull your vehicle over. If you have to take or make a call or text while on the road, pull off the road to do so safely.
- Ask passengers for help. If you’re riding with someone, seek their help to navigate, make a call or send a message.
- Be a good passenger. Speak out if the driver of your vehicle is distracted.
- Don’t be a distraction. Avoid calling or texting others when you know they are driving.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help Victims of Distracted Driving Crashes
Distracted driving crashes can happen at any time of the day. That’s why The Carlson Law Firm is available for you 24/7. If you or someone you love suffered life-altering injuries or death after a distracted driving crash, contact The Carlson Law Firm for a free consultation. We can help you get the compensation you deserve for your loss and damages.
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