The Dangers of Texting and Driving

Lever & Ecker, PLLC October 22, 2015 Car Accidents

It does not need to be said that texting and driving is dangerous.  Texting while driving leads to numerous accidents and injuries every year which could have been easily prevented.  We’ve compiled statistic about texting and driving here for you in a blog post.  Share this with your friends, family, and children, it could save their life.

Facts About Texting and Driving

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving.  Texting while driving can be even more dangerous than drunk driving, it is about six times more likely to cause an accident than driving under the influence.  The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said that texting while driving is about the same as driving after drinking four beers and a recent study showed that texting while driving causes drivers to take their eyes off of the road for a full five seconds at a time to send a text message.  A report on that study can be found here.

Texting While Driving Accident Statistics

The National Safety Council reports that texting while driving causes 1,600,000 accidents and a subsequent 330,000 injuries every years.  Nearly 25% of all car accidents are caused by distracted driving and using your cellphone to send a text while .  These accidents are caused because texting while driving is 23 times more likely to cause you to crash than while driving in standard conditions.  It slows your break reaction speed by 18% and leads to a 400% increase of one taking their eyes off the road.  Despite these dangers and the obvious impairments it causes, at any given time more than 800,000 drivers across the country are texting while they are driving.

Texting Epidemic Among Teen Drivers

Texting while driving is the number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers.  This is especially dangerous because teen drivers are also new drivers and are not as familiar with the road or traffic situations that older, more experienced drivers are.  The Institute for Highway Safety and Fatalities reports that there are eleven teen deaths every day due to texting while driving.  Out of young drivers ages 18-20 who were involved in car wrecks, 13% of them admitted to either talking on their phone or texting at the time of the wreck.

Laws Against Texting While Driving

Several states have chosen to take a stand against texting while driving through passing new laws and ordinances.  Almost all states ban text messaging while driving.  In 2007, Washington became the first state to ban text messaging while driving.  Since then, 46 states plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have all passed similar bans.  All of these laws with the exception of five are primary enforcement laws, meaning that they allow police officers to cite a driver texting while driving without another traffic offense taking place.  The four states that do not ban texting while driving do have bans in place to prohibit texting by novice drivers.

14 states plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam have taken the text messaging ban a step further.  These have laws that prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones in any way while driving.  These laws are also primary enforcement laws.  More specific information about these laws from state to state can be found here.

Accidents Caused by Texting and Driving

As these statistics show, texting while driving is an extremely dangerous activity and can lead to many different types of accidents.  Some of the different types of accidents texting while driving can cause are:

  • Accidentally driving through a stop sign into an intersection and colliding with oncoming traffic.
  • Driving up on a sidewalk and potentially injuring pedestrians.
  • Rear ending a stopped car in front of you.
  • Colliding with a highway divider or other blockage on the road.
  • Colliding with another car on the road by swerving into their lane.
  • Driving through a red light into oncoming traffic.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

If you were hit by a driver who was texting while driving, you have legal options available to you.  There are several very important steps to take after an accident not only to preserve your well being, but to preserve evidence so you can have a successful personal injury lawsuit.

The most important thing to do after an accident is to take care of your health.  Your health is of paramount importance and even if you are not seriously injured it is highly recommended to see a doctor anyway.  A doctor will be able to note any minor injuries and track them in the event that they develop into something more serious.  Seeing a medical professional will also provide official documentation of your injuries.

It is very important to document everything that took place immediately before, during, and after the accident.  This documentation will be very important if you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit in the future.  Other types of documentation that you should hold on to are receipts and medical bills and bills from any repairs of property damage.  If there were any witnesses of the accident, it is important to get their names and contact information.

Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help

The next step after an accident is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer, such as the injury lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC.  Our lawyers have years of experience in many types of personal injury law and will be able to help you on the road to justice for your injuries.  A full list of our practice areas can be found here.  Do not hesitate to contact us today for a free case evaluation and consultation.

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