Car Accidents Caused by Texting While Driving
The distraction that is caused by trying to do two things at once impairs your ability to do either of them effectively.
One of the best examples of this is the use of cell phones to text while driving.
Anyone who drives in Houston will see it daily, whether it is on a street in downtown or on any of the highways that surround the city.
And the result?
We are seeing more and more injures caused by drivers who are texting while driving.
More Cell Phones
Many people use cell phones while driving and this is responsible for a large number of car accidents in Texas and certainly in Houston.
The fact that cell phones have become more affordable over time is what has caused nearly every US citizen to owning one. When someone uses a cell phone while driving they are distracted drivers. He or she tends to ignore road signs and fails to keep an eye on the road, both of which are recipes for disaster.
The primary source of driver inattention is use of a cell phone, and, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at any given time, more than ten million drivers in the United States are talking on cell phones. Driver inattention is a primary or contributing factor in a significant number of car accidents, and driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity that is being used to focus on driving by about 40%.
The Facts About Texting While Driving
- People who text while driving are 23% more likely to be in a car accident.
- Using a cell phone while driving causes a 400% increase in the time when eyes are not watching the road.
Psychologists have developed studies showing that people who talk on cell phones while driving a car are as impaired as drunk drivers. The study also found that hands-free cell phones are just as distracting as regular cell phones because the actual conversation – not just the use of a handheld cell phone – is what distracts drivers from the road.
The study found that compared to non-distracted drivers, drivers who talked on either handheld or hands-free cell phones:
- Took longer to hit the brakes
- Showed more variation in following distance
- Were slower to return to normal speed after braking
- Drove slower (especially on busy interstates and highways)
Their attention constantly switches between driving and talking and because of this they were more likely to cause a car accident. People who use a cell phone while driving are about six times more likely to get in a car accident – this certainly true in Houston.
No State Law Prohibiting Texting While Driving
Texas is one of 45 states that does not prohibit a driver from using a cell phone while driving. However, like driving while intoxicated, driving while using a cell phone is causing fatal car accidents.
Texas allows hands-free cell phone use. If a driver is making a work related phone call that distracts the driver to the point of causing a car accident, then this negligence can be imputed to the driver’s employer and the employer can be held responsible for the accident and any subsequent injuries and damages.
If you have been involved in a car accident in which the driver at fault was using a cell phone, contact Michael P. Fleming & Associates today for a free consultation 713-221-6800.