When driving, the individual behind the wheel has the responsibility of operating the vehicle safely. This means watching the road, paying attention to other vehicles and putting his or her phone down while driving. Unfortunately, many drivers do not do these things, engaging in distracting behaviors while driving. Distracted driving is negligent, unnecessary and leads to a significantly higher risk for accidents.
Distracted driving is one of the most pressing safety concerns on Texas roads. A distracted driver is significantly more likely to cause an accident that will leave others with serious injuries. If you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident because of the reckless or negligent actions of another motorist, it is possible you are the victim of distracted driving.
A dangerous habit with serious consequences
Most people would agree that drunk driving is dangerous, but most do not realize that distracted driving often leads to the same types of actions behind the wheel often seen from drunk drivers. This includes swerving, riding the center line and driving at erratic speeds. In fact, statistics indicate that distracted driving now causes more deaths each year than drunk driving. Last year alone, more than one million accidents took place because of distracted driving, and approximately 3,100 people died in distracted-related accidents across the country.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around one in four motor vehicle accidents involves distracted driving. One reason for the high number of distraction-related crashes may be due to the fact that drivers often believe they can safely multitask, underestimating the dangers of distraction. Studies find that even five or fewer seconds of distraction can lead to the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with one’s eyes closed.
Do restrictions help?
Despite hands-free laws and other steps to reduce the chance of distracted driving, this remains a serious safety concern. Drivers who cause harm to others because of distracted driving are responsible for their actions, and victims have the right to pursue justice. One option for those who have suffered because of distracted driving includes seeking compensation through a personal injury claim.
If you believe you may have grounds to pursue compensation through the Texas civil justice system after a car accident, you may benefit from starting with an assessment of your case. This first step can help you understand the legal options available to you and identify the most appropriate way forward, according to the details of your individual case.