With nearly 70% of the adult population owning a cell phone in the U.S. alone, the instances of texting while driving has increased dramatically over the course of the past two decades. While many people think teenagers are the only ones that exhibit reckless driving behavior, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that drivers in their 20s account for 38% of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes in 2015.
Why Is Texting While Driving So Dangerous?
While many people think that they can handle picking up their cell phone to check a text message while driving a car, on average, a driver takes their eyes off the road for five whole seconds when texting. This might not seem like much, but it’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field at 55 mph blindfolded.
The dangers of texting while driving extend beyond the driver taking their eyes off the road. The driver also takes one hand off the wheel, making it more difficult to control their vehicle in an emergency situation.
When a driver engages in texting while driving, they are also facing cognitive distraction. It’s crucial for drivers to keep their minds on the task of driving. A recent study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that drivers are 10 times more likely to get in an accident if they are emotionally agitated.
To drive safely, a driver must keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and their mind on the task of driving at all times.
How Often Does Texting While Driving Happen?
At any given daylight moment, over 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones while driving. Despite the extreme risks of injury or death, drivers continue to text while driving.
Historic 2010 Texas Distracted Driving Wrongful Death Verdict
Although texting while driving has been causing accidents for years, many lawyers refused to take on personal injury or wrongful death claims against texting drivers. Understanding the threat texting drivers pose to their own passengers and to other motorists, Texas distracted driving attorney Hunter Craft achieved a landmark verdict for a family whose daughter was killed by a driver distracted by texting.
The victim, Megan Small, was hit head-on by a truck that drifted into her lane on Highway 6. While the driver of the truck claimed he was not using his cell phone at the time of the accident, phone records later revealed that the truck driver sent and/or received 15 text messages and placed seven phone calls in the hour leading up to the crash.
The jury found the driver of the truck responsible for the wrongful death after only two and a half hours of deliberation. The verdict established a precedent for distracted driving accident victims across Texas and throughout the country and continues to help hold reckless drivers responsible.
Houston Texting and Driving Accident Attorneys
People of all ages admit to using their cell phones while driving. If a distracted driver who was texting while driving injured you in a car accident, you can hold them responsible for their carelessness. Call the experienced Houston car accident attorneys at Craft Law Firm today for a free consultation to review your case.