Teenage Drivers Must Be Stopped from Using Cell Phones

Hey, state legislators, car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths. Pass that bill to stop these needless deaths! (and stop trying to kill our courts while you are at it!).

A bill introduced by former House Speaker Tom Craddick would add a $200.00 fine for drivers who text while they are driving. Another bill from San Antonio rep Jose Menendez would require hands-free devices for cell phones. These bills are still in committees. However 30 other states already limit texting while driving, and the cities of Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso have done so.

Nearly 5,500 people in the U.S. were killed in distracted driving collisions in 2009. And according to a poll just released, 63% of drivers under 30 admit to using a handheld phone while driving — and a whopping 30% have texted while driving!

Consumer Reports, which conducted the survey, reports that teenagers are involved in three times more fatal crashes than other drivers.

And only 30% of those under 30 even thought that it was dangerous to use a hand held phone while driving.

Jeanne Brown lobbied the Texas legislature yesterday to pass a bill to stop this reckless practice. Her daughter Alex, a teenager killed on her way to school near Lubock, was killed while she was driving and texting.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, nearly 5,500 motorists were killed and almost a half-million were injured in 2009 in crashes related to distracted driving. 18% of those fatal crashes involved the use of a cell phone.

I have dealt with this issue in previous cases. In one, a client who was rear ended on a local highway by a teenager on her cell phone. My client had to undergo a cervical spinal fusion and discectomy as a result. I subpoenaed the defendant’s cell phone records (see below) and proved that she was talking on the phone when the wreck happened, and that she lied in her deposition when she stated she hadn’t used her phone just before the crash. After filing suit and fighting hard for my client, the case settled just before trial for over ten times the original offer.

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident where the driver was texting while driving or otherwise distracted please contact my office immediately at 817-885-8000 so I can subpoena their cell phone records and fight the insurance company to get you the settlement you deserve.

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