Distracted driving, including texting (the most dangerous distraction of all) is a serious problem across the entire nation and beyond, and Texas is no exception. When motorists don’t pay adequate attention to their driving, they make car accidents more likely, and they increase the risks for everyone. If you’ve been injured by a driver who was busily texting behind the wheel, the first order of business – after seeking the medical care you need – is consulting with an experienced Texas traffic accident lawyer.
What’s In This Guide
- Car Accident Statistics: Texting while Driving
- Texting and Driving: A Dangerous Mix
- The Accident that Causes You to Be Injured
- Taking the Steps Necessary to Protect Your Claim
Car Accident Statistics: Texting while Driving
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) shares that distracted driving takes a variety of forms and that it continues to be a problem throughout the state. TxDOT would like to remind all drivers that it’s been illegal to read, write, or send a text while behind the wheel in the state since 2017, and a violation can earn you up to $200 in fines. TxDOT shares that distracted driving refers to engaging in any activity that lures a motorist’s attention away from driving safely, and texting is a prime example. Consider the following primary statistics shared by TxDOT related to distracted driving, including texting:
- One: In 2020, 367 people lost their lives to distracted driving in the State of Texas.
- Two: In 2020, 2,205 people were seriously injured by distracted driving in the State of Texas.
Additional statistic related to texting behind the wheel – on the national level – include:
- Three: in 2019, 3,142 people lost their lives to accidents caused by distracted driving (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA).
- Four: In 2018, more than 2,800 people died and another 400,000 were injured as a result of distracted driving (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC).
- Five: A full 25 percent of those distracted drivers who were involved in deadly traffic accidents in 2018 were in the 20 to 29-year-old age bracket (CDC).
Texting behind the wheel can prove deadly.
[Related Article] 9 Texas Rental Car Accident Statistics – Everything You Need to Know
Texting and Driving: A Dangerous Mix
Texting is one of the few distractions that manages to interweave all three categories of distraction, including:
- Distractions that engage the driver’s hands
- Distractions that engage the driver’s thoughts
- Distractions that engage the driver’s vision
That is a lot of distraction. Further, when motorists are involved with texts, they spend an average of five seconds per interaction, and this translates to driving about the length of a football field (at highway speeds). A lot can happen when driving the length of a football field.
The Accident that Causes You to Be Injured
You’ve been injured by a driver who was texting behind the wheel, and the losses you experience as a result are likely to be extensive. Ensuring that every category of loss you experience is carefully represented in your car accident claim is the best way to protect your legal rights and your ability to fully recover.
If you get the sense that your medical bills are never ending, you’re not alone. The medical expenses that attend serious injuries tend to be very steep and are often ongoing. If you encounter complications or experience secondary healthcare concerns as a result, the cost increases accordingly.
You’re injured, which can make returning to work while you are recovering out of the question, and if you can’t work, you’re going to experience lost earnings – in tandem with your mounting medical bills. It’s a lot to deal with, and if your earning potential is affected, it’s a lot more to deal with.
Pain and Suffering
The emotional and physical pain and suffering the texting driver forces you to endure can be profound. It’s difficult to accept that someone else’s carelessness can disrupt your life so thoroughly, and the psychological ramifications can be challenging to move past.
Taking the Steps Necessary to Protect Your Claim
Your claim will not be exactly like any other distracted driving claim, but there are some basic steps that claimants like you can take to help protect yourself and your car accident claim, including:
- Even if you don’t think the accident caused you to be seriously injured, it’s in your best interest to seek immediate medical attention. The bottom line is that serious injuries don’t necessarily signal their presence right away, and the longer you wait, the more difficult these injuries are to treat.
- The best way to ensure that you reach your fullest and speediest recovery is by carefully following your doctor’s instructions and guidance. This not only benefits your health but also lets the insurance company know that it should follow your example and take your claim seriously.
- Consult with a seasoned car accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible. Claims involving texting drivers are often very challenging, and having a focused car accident attorney guiding yours from the outset can greatly improve your chances of obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled.
- Allow your car accident attorney to do your communicating with the insurance company for you. The truth of the matter is that the insurance company is invested in tripping you up, and it’s to your advantage not to give them the opportunity. It’s worth noting that you are not required to make an official statement to the insurance company, and you’re better off avoiding it.
- Breaking up with your social media accounts for the time being is well advised. Again, the insurance company is hoping you’ll post something that it can use to trip up your claim, and not giving them the chance is to your advantage.
It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Texas Car Accident Attorney
Motorists recognize exactly how dangerous texting behind the wheel is, and yet many continue to do it. If one of these drivers leaves you injured, the capable Texas car accident attorneys at The Patel Firm have a wealth of experience successfully guiding claims like yours toward advantageous outcomes. To learn more about how we can also help you, please don’t delay contacting or calling us at 361-400-2036 today.