When you see a motorist in your midst who doesn’t respond to driving cues the way he or she should – whose driving is a bit off – it’s often directly attributable to distraction behind the wheel. In fact, you may even catch a motorist in the telltale position of having his or her eyes focused on a phone rather than on the road ahead. Statistics demonstrate that distracted drivers are dangerous drivers, and if you or someone you love has been harmed by such a driver, you shouldn’t wait to consult with an experienced Texas vehicle collision lawyer.
What’s In This Guide
- What Is Distracted Driving
- Distracted Driving Statistics
- Distracted Driving Statistics over Time
- If a Distracted Driver Leaves You Injured
What Is Distracted Driving
Distracted driving amounts to any time that a motorist’s attention is focused on something other than the job of driving safely. Distractions can be broken down into the following categories:
- Distractions that involve a driver’s sight, hearing, or both
- Distractions that engage a driver’s hands
- Distractions that engage a driver’s thoughts
Texting is unique in its ability to involve all three of the above and is one of the most dangerous forms of distraction on our roadways. One way to visualize the danger is to imagine driving the length of a football field while engrossed in a text – this is the average distance a motorist travels (at highway speeds) in the average of five seconds it takes to write or read a text. Texting behind the wheel is illegal throughout the State of Texas.
Distracted Driving Statistics
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that when it comes to dangerous driving practices, texting remains near the very top of the list, landing in the second position in terms of crash causes. Consider the following statistics:
- One out of every five crashes on Texas roadways were caused by distracted driving in 2020.
- Distracted drivers in Texas seriously injured 2,200 people and killed another 364 in 2020.
Bankrate also shares distracted driving statistics that are culled from a variety of national sources, including:
- In 2019, 3,142 people lost their lives to distracted drivers (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA). This number is up from the 2,628 people who lost their lives to distracted drivers in 2018 and the 3,003 who lost their lives in 2017.
- Of all the fatal car accidents in 2019, 8.7 percent were caused by distracted driving.
- Of all the distracted drivers who are involved in fatal accidents, a full 25 percent are between the ages of 20 and 29 (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Distracted driving leads to about 285,000 injuries each year (NHTSA).
- Distracted driving leads to about 920,000 total accidents each year (NHTSA)
TxDOT reminds Texans that April is National Distracted Driving Month, which makes it a great time to double down on your commitment to always driving distraction free.
Distracted Driving Statistics over Time
Bankrate also reports on statistics that reflect the danger of distracted driving over time. For example, a comprehensive study performed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and NHTSA found that about 65 percent of near accidents and about 80 percent of accidents involved motorists who were engaged in some form of inattention within three seconds of the event. This study determined that phone use was the most common culprit and that drowsy driving ranked second. Historical data also shows that distracted driving has held steady over the years (from 2010 to 2018) – causing between 14 and 17 percent of the total number of car accidents.
If a Distracted Driver Leaves You Injured
If you’ve been injured as a result of a driver’s distraction, there are several steps you should take to help ensure your fullest recovery.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you are convinced that your injuries are not serious, it’s important to be checked out by a doctor. Very serious injuries can be masked by the adrenaline rush you experience in the aftermath of an accident, and some injuries are slower to present with identifiable symptoms. Once you’ve sought medical attention, it’s very important that you carefully follow the medical advice and instructions provided. This will not only help you achieve your healthcare goals but also demonstrates to the insurance company that your losses are as significant as stated in your claim.
Work Closely with a Dedicated Car Accident Attorney
Obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled and that you require to regain your health and well-being is challenging, and the fact that you are facing considerable obstacles related to the accident does not make it less so. Having an accomplished car accident attorney in your corner can help in a wide range of important ways and can make an important difference in the outcome of your claim. Consider the following:
- Your car accident attorney will compile all the available evidence related to your car accident into a cohesive and compelling claim.
- Your car accident attorney will help guide you through the process, allowing you to make the well-informed decisions that are right for you along the way.
- Your car accident attorney will hire expert witnesses whose expertise bolsters your claim and will have accident models created that back up your claim (as applicable).
- Your car accident attorney will interact with the insurance company on your behalf, which includes skillfully negotiating settlement terms that accurately address the losses you’ve experienced.
Don’t Provide the Insurance Company with Information that Inadvertently Harms Your Claim
The fact of the matter is that the insurance company is on the lookout for any information it can use to tarnish your claim (even if they have to twist the information to do so), and they are very good at what they do. Your goal is to provide them with as little information as you possibly can by keeping both the following in mind:
- You are not obligated to make a formal statement to the insurance company (leave it to your attorney).
- Your social media activity will be closely monitored by the insurance company (it’s best to take a break while your claim is pending).
[Related Article] How Many Drunk Driving Deaths Per Year in Texas?
An Experienced Car Accident Attorney Is Here to Help
The impressive Texas car accident attorneys at The Patel Firm have the legal insight and skill you are looking for and are standing by to help. To learn more, please don’t wait to reach out and contact or call us at 361-400-2036 today.