The eyes of Texas may be upon you but they sure aren’t on the roads.
Several nights ago a man rear-ended a stopped vehicle in Plano, killed its driver, and seriously injured its passenger.
Car wrecks are usually caused by a driver’s negligence. What’s the biggest reason these days? His or her distracted driving.
The driver is probably using his cell phone and may also be eating and drinking, playing with his music controls, talking to passengers, and/or zoned out.
That’s why April is Distracted Driving Month and why we must end this incredibly dangerous practice.
Not convinced? Here are other stupid things people do when they drive:
- Reading books;
- Changing baby’s diapers; and
- Typing on a laptop and drinking coffee
You’ve probably seen these kinds of things and worse. At the same time, that person may be about to run a red light, fail to yield the right of way, and/or speed and cause a serious car wreck.
Driving while texting is an enormous problem on our roads.
Last year in Texas, the number of collisions caused by drivers staring at their iPhones and Androids jumped to 110,000. And this nightmare keeps getting worse. This huge number was up from an already shocking 100,000 of these automobile crashes the year before.
Sadly, over 3,000 people die in car accidents every year in the U. S. due to cell phone use.
Cell Phones and Texting
There are close to one million people who are driving at this very moment while using their mobile phones. And many of them are younger drivers with less driving experience and riskier behavior — and possibly have little or no auto liability insurance.
This has become the new norm. It is even considered a cool thing to do. EVERY ONE is doing it. People can’t seem to drive, walk, eat at a restaurant, or wait for an elevator without a cell phone in their hands. We are all numb to seeing the guy next to you veer into our lane as he is holding his phone.
At least this idiotic behavior is finally illegal here in Texas. That’s a good start.
Will Our New Law Stop This Deadly Practice?
We were almost the last state (47th) to ban texting while driving, but as of September 1st, it’s against the law.
Even the Texas Department of Transportation admits that distracted driving causes 20% of collisions and from my experience, I think that number is much higher.
Since this was already such a major problem, over 100 cities had already outlawed talking and/or texting while driving. Arlington, Bedford, Grand Prairie, Hurst, Watauga, White Settlement, and other local cities have statutes that are even more strict than the new state law.
Technology got us into this problem and can possibly get us out of it. Various applications can block texting while driving including Carplay and Driver Mode. If you have an iPhone, the new iOS 11 stops phone can be programmed to block incoming messages when it detects that the vehicle is moving.
Pledge to be an attentive driver
The National Safety Council each year requests that we take a simple pledge to keep our eyes on the road. Encourage your family and friends to learn more here.
Driving should not be playing Russian Roulette. We shouldn’t have to gamble with our lives every time we get in our cars.
What to do if you are in a crash caused by a distracted driver?
Now that this dangerous driving is illegal, a car wreck attorney can use this against the at-fault driver when he negotiates with his insurance company or files a lawsuit and takes the case before a jury.
After the crash you should
- Remember if the other driver was holding his cell phone and kept using it. A personal injury lawyer can subpoena his cell phone records and hire experts who can help prove that he was distracted.
- Take photos of what he looked like and what was inside his car (cell phone on the seat, open magazine, half-eaten meal, etc.) in addition to the vehicles, streets, skid marks, and other evidence at the scene of the collision;
- Make sure you report your evidence of distracted driving to the investigating police officers. It is important that your observations be documented since the police report can become a critical piece of evidence.
- See if there are video monitors and eyewitnesses which may also have recorded or seen the distracted driving.
Call a Fort Worth Injury Lawyer for assistance
If you or someone you know has unfortunately been the victim of a car or truck wreck, you can bet that distracted driving played a role. We see it all the time and know what to do with the evidence.
Call or email us for a free no-obligation meeting to discuss the facts and learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Alarming Rise in Car Wrecks Due to Cell Phones