Due to the similar type of distraction caused when a person drives while texting, it is often compared with drinking under the influence of alcohol. If you have been involved in a motor accident caused by another person, who was texting while driving, the experienced car accident lawyers at MANGAL, PLLC are here to assist you.
Can You Sue a Driver Who Hit Your Vehicle While Texting?
With the increased use of mobile phones, texting while driving has now become a substantial problem on the road, and statistics depict that the use of mobile devices while driving is getting worse. According to the U.S. National Safety Council, individuals, who use mobile phones while driving, contribute to over 1.5 million automobile crashes in the country every year.
So, what makes driving while texting so risky? And how can it result in automobile crashes? Keep reading to know the answers to these questions, and what you can do if you have suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone, who was texting while driving.
Why Texting While Driving Is Dangerous
In terms of the level of distraction, texting while driving is comparable with driving under the influence of alcohol. A study by the magazine, “Car and Driver” found that individuals, who text while driving, have slower reaction times, compared to people with a 0.08 blood-alcohol level, which is the legally permissible limit. Another study by the University of Utah revealed that texting or talking on a mobile phone while driving increases your risk of getting involved in a car accident four times. One more study depicted that approximately nine people die every day due to distracted driving.
These statistics and study outcomes explain the extreme risk involved in this kind of distracted driving behavior and how it can put the driver, car passengers, and other automobiles on the road in danger.
Note that even looking at your smartphone for a fraction of a second can lead to a serious or fatal automobile crash. Hence, one should strictly avoid using electronic devices while being in the driver’s seat, in order to prevent distracted driving and the damage it may cause to you and others.
How Texting While Driving Can Result in Automobile Accidents
Texting while driving is risky, and may lead to automobile accidents in multiple ways. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that looking at a mobile phone to text message, for only five seconds while driving at a speed of 55 mph, can keep your eyes away from the road for nearly the length of a football field. That is a significant distance to cover without your eyes on the road – which leaves you and other vehicles on the road highly susceptible to a crash.
Moreover, texting while driving broadly distracts you in 3 different ways: cognitively, visually, and manually. The cognitive distraction happens when you divert your attention to text messaging from driving, which hampers your ability to make safe decisions on the road. The visual distraction happens as you start looking at your cell phone and take your eyes off the road. The manual distraction occurs when you start using your hand to text, instead of keeping it on the steering wheel. The combination of these three types of distractions is what makes texting while driving so risky that may easily lead to a car accident.
Who Is At Risk Of Texting While Driving?
Texting while driving is risky for everyone, but young adults and teens are at greater risk, compared to other demographics. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, found that automobile drivers, aged 20 years or below, are more involved in distraction-related deadly accidents, in comparison to other age groups. As a matter of fact, around 9% of all teen deaths due to automobile crashes in 2017 were directly associated with distraction-related driving. In the same year, just over 40% of high school students said that they had texted while driving in the past month.
What worsens the situation is the fact that teenage drivers, who text while driving, have a greater likelihood of:
- Not wearing a seatbelt while driving
- Drinking and driving
- Getting in an automobile with a drunk driver
While teens form the most susceptible age group to text while driving, anybody can suffer the repercussions of distracted driving if they tend to text while driving. The more often an individual texts while driving, the more the likelihood of getting involved in an auto accident due to distracted driving.
The Risks of Distracted Driving Auto Accidents
The kind and severity of injury to a person due to distracted driving depend on their specific situation. Common injuries in accidents involving distracted driving may include:
- Bruises or burns
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Damage to the eyes
- Hearing loss
- Damage to the joints, muscles, or tendons
- Damage to the organs
- Facial lacerations
The more severe the automobile accident, the more critical the injuries and possibility for a deadly crash to occur.
Other Causes of Driver Distraction
Texting while driving is not the only type of distraction that can result in automobile crashes. Other kinds of distractions that can lead to automobile collisions are as follows:
- Talking to a passenger
- Using the in-car entertainment system
- Looking at a GPS navigation system
- Eating food while driving
- Reaching for something in the car
- Wearing jewelry or makeup
- Using the mobile phone with the hands
- Using the smartphone for other reasons other than texting
- Smoking while driving
- Drinking and driving
In a nutshell, anything that can take your attention and eyes away from the road may result in perilous consequences.
Tips to Avoid Texting While Driving
There are a couple of things that you can do in order to control your urge of texting while driving. Up on receiving a text message, holding off the desire to respond quickly may seem tough, but with some practice, you can be able to focus completely on the road, without being distracted by your phone’s notifications. Here are some tips to help you avoid texting while driving:
- Put your phone on silent mode before sitting behind the wheel or make use of the “Do Not Disturb” feature, available on most smartphones, today.
- Place your phone in a place, where reaching while driving can be tough. For instance, you can put your cell phone in the glove box or in a purse on the back seat.
- Turn off notifications on your cell phone and other smart devices, such as tablets, watches, etc. so that you don’t get notified whenever your device receives a message.
- The more you practice not to text when driving, the easier it will be for you to ignore pings and notifications, and avoid taking your eyes away from the road.
Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Crash Caused by Someone Texting While Driving
If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident that was caused by some other driver who was texting while driving, it is important to get legal assistance as soon as possible from a trusted law firm in Clermont, Florida.
Proving that the other party was texting when the accident occurred is not easy. However, if you have a qualified personal injury lawyer in Florida by your side, you have a greater likelihood of getting recompense for your injuries and losses. Contact an experienced car accident attorney at MANGAL, PLLC today to discuss your case and the possible legal options.