Distracted Driving Accidents
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Ever-evolving cell phone technology can offer some aspects of safety for drivers when used properly and safely. But despite the ability to offer aid to stranded drivers or those experiencing car problems, cell phones and other mobile and electronic devices can also create an atmosphere of distraction.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving was involved in 20 percent of injury-provoking crashes, in 2009 alone.
Busy lifestyles and excessive time spent in vehicles can push drivers to perform tasks that cannot always be safely completed while operating a vehicle. Although text messaging, status updates and mobile web interactions have recently taken heat for becoming a distraction to drivers, GPS systems, grooming and even adjusting radios and music can cause distractions while driving, even if only taking attention for a couple of seconds.
The U.S. Department of Transportation describes distracted driving as, “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger and bystander safety.”
Text Messaging Causes Distracted Driving Accidents
The particular risk of texting while driving stems from the need for drivers to actually take their eyes off the road as well as their hands off the wheel, in order to read messages, and sometimes, in turn, reply to messages.
The risk of experiencing a car accident is 23 times greater when texting-while-driving than if driving without distraction, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), highlighting the serious danger associated with taking one’s eyes off the road, even for mere seconds.
Texting, updating a social media status or replying to an email may seem harmless at the time, but in reality, the impact can be life-altering. VTTI estimates that the average text distracts drivers by taking their eyes off the road for an average 4.6 seconds. Although a couple seconds may seem harmless, it takes approximately the same time to travel the length of a football field at speeds of 55 mph.
Distracted driving in Texas is currently characterized by limited bans on cell phone and mobile device use by drivers, including:
Hands-free and handheld cell phone bans for bus drivers
Texting bans for bus drivers
Hands-free and handheld cell phone bans for novice drivers
Texting bans for novice drivers
All texting and hand-held cell phone use while traveling through school zones
Despite the progress accompanying bans and laws in places to safeguard against distracted driving accidents in Texas, there are still actions necessary to prevent accidents tied to distracted driving, texting and mobile device use that sparks countless accidents every year.
Holding Distracted Drivers Accountable
If you, or someone you love, have been seriously injured or killed in an accident caused by distracted driving, call our auto accident attorneys as soon as possible. A consultation is always free at The Carlson Law Firm.