Most of us are well aware of how important our smartphones have become to our daily lives. While we may be more accepting of how often people are using their mobile devices, the one time that no one can afford to be distracted by a cell phone is when they are behind the wheel.
One of the most common smartphone distractions is undoubtedly text messaging. Many people have a hard time resisting the urge to immediately read and respond to messages from friends or family members, even while driving.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the National Safety Council (NSC) provides free posters, videos, and fact sheets for people to share at their work, in their homes, and in their communities.
If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident caused by a driver who was texting, an experienced attorney may be able to subpoena the phone records of the other driver, use police reports or eyewitness testimony, or other evidence to prove their negligence.
Why Texting and Driving Is So Dangerous
People can be subject to three main kinds of distractions. A visual distraction takes a driver’s eyes off the road. A manual distraction takes the driver’s hands off the wheel. A cognitive distraction takes the driver’s mind off the task of driving.
Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves all three types of distractions. A person who takes five seconds to read or respond to a text message while driving at 55 mph will travel the entire length of a football field without looking at the road.
Texting and Driving Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 391,000 people suffered injuries in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in one recent year. NHTSA reported that 3,450 people were killed that year.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety House Study Committee on
Distracted Driving, distracted driving-related rear-end crashes increased every year between 2013 and 2016:
- 9,953 in 2013
- 10,432 in 2014
- 12,251 in 2015
- 13,473 in 2016
The number of distracted driving crashes involving drivers between 15 and 25 years of age also increased every year from 2013 to 2016.
How to Protect Yourself
If you know that you will be tempted to text while driving, the safest option is to simply turn the device off until you get to your destination. If you need to keep the phone on in case of emergency phone calls, turn off text message notifications and resume communication once you are out of the vehicle.
You can often utilize phone settings (depending on the device and carrier) or third-party apps that can automatically respond to text messages on your behalf. Certain mobile apps will even reward you for not engaging in distracted driving.
How Can The Champion Firm Help Me?
If you were hurt by a driver who was texting behind the wheel, you could be eligible for significant compensation. Your medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with the crash should be their responsibility, not yours.
The Champion Firm, P.C. represents clients on a contingency fee basis, which simply means that you will owe us absolutely nothing unless and until we secure money on your behalf. You can have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation.