Law Firms in Houston for 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.
Study Finds Texting While Driving Causes more accidents among Teen Drivers
Any parent in Houston will tell you that today’s teenagers are attached to their cellphones.
Whether it is during dinner, at church or other inappropriate moments, teens seemingly cannot put down their cellphones even for a second.
In the majority of instances when a teen uses his or her cellphone, the only offense is rudeness.
However, this habit can kill if a teen does the same while driving a car.
As teens are less experienced drivers than adults, they are already predisposed towards making mistakes and being in a car accident.
In fact, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens across the nation. When a teen distracted driver brings out a cellphone to send, read or compose a text message, it greatly increases the likelihood of a car accident. According to a study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting increases a driver’s risk of being involved in an accident by 23 times.
Houston is no exception
Unfortunately, a recent study showed that like their national counterparts, many teens in Houston are unable to get behind the wheel without using their phones to send or read a text message.
According to data from the Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center, 27 percent of Houston teens read a text or email every time that they drive a car. Shockingly, this puts them below the national average of 30 percent.
In addition to reading texts, the study found that:
- 24 percent of Houston teens send a text
- 22 percent participate in extended texting sessions
every time that they drive.
Distracted driving is a significant problem in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, distracted drivers were responsible for 90,378 motor vehicle accidents on Texas’ roads during 2012.
It is illegal for young drivers to use a cellphone or text while driving during the first 12 months of their license under Texas law.
Despite the fact that texting and talking on a cellphone is illegal for young drivers, many teens flout the law. Their inexperience behind the wheel coupled with the distracting behavior that they engage in makes them a significant danger to other motorists on the road.
Fortunately, those who are injured or killed by such negligent behavior are legally entitled to seek compensation for lost wages, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, medical bills and other financial losses stemming from the accident.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a careless or inattentive driver, in Houston or anywhere else in Texas contact an experienced injury attorney. An attorney can advise you of your right to compensation and work to hold the responsible party accountable.