Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents in the United States.
In 2017, an estimated 391,000 drivers were injured by distracted driving. All 50 states, including Texas, have taken measures against distracted driving.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is a broad term that encompasses all activities where the driver has to do something other than driving.
In this activity, for example, drivers have to take their eyes off the road. Or it can reduce their attention span in other ways.
There are three main types of distractions:
- Cognitive, which requires the driver to think about something other than driving;
- Visually, where the driver has to look away from the road; and
- Manual, where the driver has to take his hands off the steering wheel
The use of a mobile phone is often cited as the cause of a distracted driving accident.
Sending SMS while driving includes all three types of distractions: the driver has to look at the screen, tap and think about the message sent or received.
When you send (or read) a text message, drivers have to take their eyes off the road for an average of five seconds.
If the driver drives at 55 miles per hour, it corresponds to the driver who blindfolds the eyes of a football field.
Other examples of distracted driving include eating, using a GPS, changing the radio station, and other such activities.
The Texas Law
In Texas, texting is illegal while driving.
However, Texas has not banned the use of a handheld while driving. It is therefore legal to speak on the phone while driving, but not to send SMS.
The ban on sending text messages also includes sending or reading emails, photo messages, using social media, or making video calls.
Drivers who have to send a message must come to a complete standstill. Otherwise, they can file charges of misdemeanor.
I was injured by a distracted driver in Texas. What can I do?
If you have been injured in Texas by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation.
Distracted driving is a kind of negligence.
Victims of injuries that have been injured due to the negligence of another driver may be entitled to a legal claim for damages.
The amount of compensation to which an injured victim is entitled depends on the particular circumstances of the individual case.
The following damage can occur in a distracted traffic accident:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of future medical care
- Loss of wages
- Loss of unemployment benefit
- Loss of employability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional stress
- Conversion costs if wheelchair ramps, handrails or similar accommodations have been installed
In a case of personal injury in Texas, other types of damage can also be claimed.
Your lawyer will ensure that all available damages are tracked so that you are adequately compensated for your accident.
How do you prove that a driver has been distracted?
Proof that a driver was distracted at the time of an accident can be challenging.
However, seasoned car accident lawyers in Texas know what evidence to look for to prove negligence.
In many cases of distracted driving, there are eyewitnesses who report that the guilty driver entered and exited a lane or became excessively slow.
These are two pointers that may distract a driver.
The scene of the accident can also provide valuable evidence.
For example, if it is clear that a car never braked before hitting another vehicle, this fact can be used to argue that the driver was distracted at the time of the accident.
Photos and video surveillance material are also useful in distracted driving situations.
Traffic cameras and even private surveillance cameras can record footage that is useful in an accident.
At Patterson Law Group we have experience with distracted driving demands
Fort Worth's personal injury attorneys at Patterson Law Group have years of experience in distracted driving claims. To arrange a free consultation with our company, contact us at 817-659-2947.