Every year, more than 100,000 Texans are involved in car accidents caused by distracted driving. Each of these accidents could have been avoided if the drivers weren’t distracted from the task of driving.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines distracted driving as “driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving.”
The CDC divides distracted driving into three types:
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road
- Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – taking your mind off the task of driving
Drivers engage in a variety of distracted driving behaviors, some more obvious than others. Many drivers don’t realize changing the radio station or talking to a passenger can have disastrous consequences for them, their passengers, and other motorists on the road.
Distractions like using a cell phone, eating or drinking, and personal grooming are particularly dangerous because they involve two or more types of distracted driving. Cell phone use has quickly become one the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, with 38% of Texans admitting to talking on their cell phone while driving and 21% admitting to reading and sending text messages while driving.
The average amount of time a driver takes their eyes off the road while texting is five seconds, and while this might not seem like much, it is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded at 55 mph.
Injuries From Distracted Driving Accidents
Injuries from distracted driving accidents can severe and life-threatening. Victims can suffer from spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), broken bones, lacerations, paralysis, or even death. Many victims require months or years of additional surgeries, hospital stays, medications, physical therapy, and specialized medical equipment. The high cost of medical treatment can place a huge financial burden on victims, particularly if they are unable to work and suffer lost wages.
Who Is Most At Risk?
Anyone can be at risk for being distracted while driving, but some age groups are more susceptible than others. While most people believe teenagers text and drive the most, a poll from the Pew Research Center discovered adults are actually more likely to text and drive than teenagers. But, because of their limited driving experience, teenagers are more likely to cause an accident and have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatalities.
Regardless of age or experience, there is no excuse for distracted driving. This dangerous behavior puts everyone on the roadway at risk for serious injuries or even death. Drivers that recklessly endanger the lives of other motorists and/or pedestrians can be held responsible for their negligence.
Blizzard & Nabers: Houston Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a Houston car accident caused by a distracted driver, you need an experienced legal team to help you obtain compensation. Call the Texas distracted driving accident attorneys at Blizzard & Nabers today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.