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Houston Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

Galveston distracted driver accident attorney

Harris County Injury Lawyer for Victims of Crashes Caused by Cell Phones and Other Driver Distractions

Distracted driving has turned into a national epidemic, claiming thousands of innocent lives every year. The term "distracted driving" refers to operating a vehicle while performing any activity that diverts your attention from the task of safe driving. It includes talking or texting on the phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in the vehicle, fiddling with the radio, or using navigation systems.

Texting while driving is the one of most common forms of distracted driving. Texting while driving is illegal everywhere in the State of Texas.

Cellphone Laws in Texas

  • You cannot send or receive electronic messages while driving in Texas.
  • Drivers with learner's permits are prohibited from using cell phones in the first six months of driving.
  • Using any hand-held device in your vehicle in a school zone is illegal.
  • Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using handheld devices.
  • School bus drivers may not use cell phones at all while driving if children are present.

Eye-Opening Facts and Statistics on Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is associated with some startling facts and is responsible for some horrifying statistics. Some of these include:

  • Distracted driving is the second-most common cause of car accidents in Texas, second only to speeding.
  • Distracted driving causes nearly four times more crashes than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • At least one person has been killed on a Texas road every day for the past 19 years. The Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched the hashtag campaign #EndTheStreakTX to educate drivers and raise awareness about distracted driving.
  • According to the NHTSA, 660,000 drivers in the country use electronic devices and gadgets while driving.
  • An average of nine people are killed every day due to crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • Every year, distracted drivers are responsible for about 2.5 million car crashes in the country.
  • Over 1,000 people are injured every day in crashes caused by distracted drivers.
  • Texting and driving is six times more likely to lead to a car accident than drunk driving.

Proving Fault in Distracted Driving Cases

Accidents involving distracted driving occur in an instant, but a claim seeking compensation for victims of such negligent and careless conduct is often a long, involved process. The injured person must prove that the alleged distracted driver was indulging in something else other than keeping his or her eyes on the road ahead.

Distracted driving is a form of negligence. Negligence is defined as "Failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury or loss to another person." To prove negligence, the plaintiff (the injured party) must establish by a preponderance of the evidence the following four main elements:

  • The defendant (the accused party) owed the plaintiff a reasonable duty of care.
  • The defendant breached his or her duty of care.
  • The breach of duty by the defendant caused the accident.
  • The accident caused compensable damages.

How Can an Experienced Texas Distracted Driving Attorney Assist You?

To build a solid case, it is necessary to investigate the accident, interview witnesses, thoroughly review accident reports, and hire experts for trial. Therefore, it is advisable to seek assistance from an experienced and committed car accident lawyer who is also an expert at valuing and filing your claim. The highly-skilled distracted driving attorneys at our firm obtain the following evidence to establish liability and damages in Texas distracted driving accident lawsuits:

  • Cell phone records showing phone calls and text messages made and received.
  • Police reports.
  • Medical reports and medical expenses for past and future treatment.
  • Photographs of the scene of the accident.
  • Reports from treating physicians regarding nature of injuries and medical treatment.
  • Information on the negligent driver's insurance company.

Types of Distractions

Anything that diverts a driver's attention away from the road is a distraction. These distractions can be categorized Into three types:

Visual Distractions: Distractions that cause a driver to take his or her eyes off the road. These include:

  • Looking at the phone screen
  • Using vanity mirror to check appearance or for the purpose of self-grooming
  • Looking behind at unsecured children or pets in the backseat

Manual Distractions: Distractions that involve a driver taking his hands or hand off the steering wheel. These include:

  • Texting, talking or calling on the phone.
  • Eating, drinking, or smoking while driving.
  • Adjusting radio or mirrors.
  • Using a navigation system.
  • Rummaging through personal belongings.
  • Grooming oneself while driving.
  • Looking at billboard advertisements.
  • Engaging on social media apps on the phone while driving.

Cognitive Distractions: Distractions that take a driver's mind off the road. These include:

  • Daydreaming.
  • Listening to loud music.
  • Having a conversation with passengers in the car.

Studies have shown that using hands-free devices to make and receive phone calls is not much, if any, safer than using handheld phones. The National Safety Council (NSC) has contended that drivers can miss 50% of what they are seeing around them if they are talking on a hands-free device.

Enforcement of Distracted Driving Laws in Texas

Texas uses primary enforcement. This means that even if you are in total control of your vehicle while texting, a police officer who sees you texting while driving can pull you over and write up a citation.

Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving

Distracted drivers fail to keep their focus on the road and cause accidents. Some measures to help you drive more safely include:

  • Never use your cell phone while driving.
  • Use your cell phone for emergency purposes only. Turn off your notifications before you start to drive.
  • Pull off the road entirely and come to a complete halt if you have to make an emergency call.
  • Familiarize yourself with local laws, as some cities in Texas ban all cell phone use while driving.
  • Drivers should never multi-task while driving. This includes texting, making video calls or posting on social media while driving.
  • Avoid eating and drinking while driving. Finishing your meals on the way to work or school may seem a time-saver, but it leads to you being less attentive to the other drivers around you. Food spills are a major cause of driver distraction.
  • Drivers should never dress or groom while driving. One should do so prior to getting behind the wheel.
  • Drivers should keep their eyes on the road and avoid looking at eye-catching billboards or beautiful scenery while driving. One should pull off the road and stop at a safe spot to admire scenery and click photographs.
  • Never drive drowsy. Drowsy drivers should pull off the road and find a safe place to rest.
  • Driving with clutter all over your vehicle is a recipe for distractions. Drivers should store items in proper compartments and should not reach for them while driving.
  • Drivers should set GPS, climate control, and adjust mirrors and seats before starting their journey.

Compensation in a Texas Distracted Driving Accident

Motorists, passengers, and pedestrians are entitled to damages if they were injured due to the negligence of a distracted driver. Damages include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future wage losses
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Spousal claim for loss of consortium

Contact a Texas Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

If you or your loved one has been a victim of a distracted driving accident anywhere in the state of Texas, you deserve to be duly compensated for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact our office for your free case evaluation right away. Call 281-643-2000 to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Harris County and the surrounding areas.

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