One of the most frequent causes of motor vehicle accidents is distracted driving in the state of Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 377 people died in car accidents caused by a distracted driver in 2019. Unfortunately, distracted driving crashes affect everyone using the roads, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, as a report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proves. When you are hit by a driver who was not paying attention to the road and the other vehicle and persons, you have the right to be compensated for your medical costs, financial losses, and non-economic damages. An experienced distracted driving accident lawyer at Glenn Law Firm will always be available to evaluate your case, prepare your claim and win your fair compensation.
A car crash will derail your carefully planned life. You will have to face physical pain, emotional distress as well as unexpected costs. We know that an type of distraction at the wheel is very dangerous, and this is why we prepared this guide to help you understand why your crash happened and how to find closure - both financially and emotionally.
The Big Myth - People Can Multitask
Distracted drivers use the same argument to claim that they can safely control a vehicle and use their cell phone or another handheld device: "I can multitask!" In reality, as proven by the National Safety Council, the human brain cannot perform two tasks at the same time.
Their research data indicates that a driver who is talking on their cell phone can miss seeing up to 50% (that means half) of the environment, including other vehicles and pedestrians. Even sending a quick voice message while waiting at a stop sign is not safe: the driver will be distracted for 27 seconds afterwards, sufficient to be involved in a fender-bender or even cause fatal accidents.
Even using digital assistants to send electronic messages instead of typing them will distract a person from the task of driving. In conclusion: when you drive, your hands should be on the steering wheel, your eyes looking ahead and in the rearview mirror and your mind fully focused on this task.
What Exactly Is Distracted Driving?
When filing an insurance claim, the driving accident victim must include a detailed description of the occurrence, including what caused it (in their opinion). If you specify distracted driving, you must give further information, stating what exactly the driver was doing.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are three main common types of distracted driving:
- manual distractions (or physical distractions) - any action that involves taking the hands off the steering wheel
- visual distractions - taking the eyes off the road
- cognitive distractions - taking your mind off driving.
Our team of driving accident attorneys has worked on thousands of accidents involving these kind of dangerous distractions, and can attest to the fact that any moment when a driver is not paying attention solely to driving can cause auto accident fatalities.
The Most Common Distractions Leading to Automobile Accidents
The list below contains the biggest driver distractions that anyone should avoid when they are behind the wheel:
Cell Phone Usage
Despite strict cell phone laws being enacted all over the US, many drivers continue to text and drive or talk and drive. This is among the most frequent and common driver distractions, because smartphones are now a source of communication, information and entertainment for consumers. However, nothing - not even an email from your boss - is more important than being 100% focused on driving.
Modern cars have advanced infotainment systems in the dashboard. A driver can check their speed, turn up the music, access the internet and get the weather forecast or use a traffic app. The fact that they can do that does not mean that they should. Dashboard distractions are visual, cognitive and manual distractions at the same time, because you take a hand off the wheel to tap on the screen, look at it instead of the road and focus your mind on the information you want to get from the system.
Noise Distractions from Passengers
Carrying passengers, especially children, is a source of distraction. You cannot command complete silence in the car. However, you can provide your passengers with entertainment (music, books, handheld electronics) that keep them occupied and do not engage you in conversations.
Seeing a flashing billboard or a car crash represent roadside distractions. In the first instance, you should curb down your curiosity and focus on your driving. In the second, the best option is to park your car in a safe location and inquire whether you can be of assistance and call 9-1-1..
The modern lifestyle is very hectic. You barely have time to get your kids ready for school and arrive on time at work. So, many people grab a quick snack to eat while driving instead of having breakfast at home. However, this means that you are not capable of putting an emergency break or avoiding a collision if a car, motorcycle or pedestrian suddenly appears in front of you.
Our auto accident lawyers have handled many distracted driving claims where the responsible driver was combing their hair, arranging their tie or applying makeup at the wheel. None of these activities are compatible with driving. No matter how much in a hurry you are, make sure you are looking your best before you leave home or wait until you can park safely to groom yourself.
This happens to everyone: your mind drifts while you are staring without focusing on anything. It can be caused by stress or grief, or it is the way the brain works on "autopilot" when you perform simple repetitive tasks, such as washing the dishes or mopping the floor. However, you must never let your mind wander when you are behind the wheel - this is not a usual chore, and you cannot lose focus even for one second.
What to Do If You Are a Victim of Driver Distraction
It is natural to feel a sense of outrage that you and your passengers suffered physical harm because the other driver was not paying attention to the road ahead. However, refrain from retaliating in any manner. Try to remain calm, call 9-1-1 and request an ambulance and a team of law enforcement officers to investigate.
Let justice speak out for you through your auto accident lawyer. Accident claims can be proven using evidence you collect (photos, videos, eyewitnesses' contact data), accident reports prepared by the police and medical records showing that you suffered physical injuries and emotional trauma.
Your attorney will also find and use relevant evidence, such as:
- the other driver's cell phone activity at the moment of the crash
- traffic camera footage
- accident reconstruction reports.
You have legal options to get compensated for your economic and non-economic losses, from getting a settlement from the distracted driver's insurance company to filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
Hire an Auto Accident Law Firm Focused Only on You!
At Glenn Law Firm, each client is our main priority. We will evaluate your case thoroughly and offer you our honest professional opinion so that you can make the right choice. We will never let you fall victim to insurance companies' tactics and will fight to get the maximum settlement amount on your behalf. We work on a contingency fee basis, so call us now for a free case review: 817-424-5999!