What are the Dangers of Texting & Driving?

January 10, 2022 | Car Accidents

It is not uncommon to see drivers on the roadway looking right at their phone screens, regardless of whether or not the vehicle is in motion. Sometimes, individuals are tapping away at the screen with their fingers, which presents an obvious problem – if a driver is busy holding their phone, they are certainly not holding onto the steering wheel, at least not in a manner safe for driving. Here, a car accident lawyer in Austin will examine the dangers of texting and driving and car accidents.

Distracted Driving is Incredibly Dangerous

Did you know that if you are traveling in a vehicle at 55 mph, sending or reading a text message is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed? That is true, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC states that there are various types of driver distraction that can occur on the roadway. Overall, the main three types of distraction include:

  1. Visual distraction that involves taking your eyes off the road
  2. Manual distraction that involves taking your hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive distraction that involves taking your mind off of driving

Obviously, when we look at these three overall types of distractions, we can see that there are various types of behaviors behind the wheel that would fall under the umbrella of “distracted driving.” This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Sending or reading text messages
  • Browsing email or web pages
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Talking to other individuals in the vehicle
  • Reaching for items in the vehicle
  • Applying makeup
  • Eating or drinking
  • Adjusting the radio or GPS
  • Having pets inside the vehicle

Statistics About Texting & Driving 

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives during the latest reporting year across this country. Unfortunately, this does not paint the full picture of the total devastation. Many other individuals sustained severe injuries as a result of distracted driving behaviors. 

The CDC says that, during their most recent total reporting year, 25% of all distracted drivers involved in fatal collisions were young adults in the 20 to 29 age range. However, drivers aged 15 to 19 were more likely to be distracted than drivers 20 years of age and older in crashes where an individual lost their life.

Indeed, distracted driving is a rising concern for younger drivers. Our interconnectedness has significantly increased over the last ten years, and nearly every driver on the roadway has some sort of mobile device on their person. With the documented addictions to social media and devices, it can be easy to see why younger individuals are tempted to pull out their phones while they are operating their vehicles.

Closer to home, we want to examine data available from the Texas Department of Transportation. During the most recent reporting year, we can see that more than 70,000 total accidents were caused by “driver inattention” across the state. Additionally, more than 11,000 vehicle accidents in Texas occurred during that same reporting year as a result of “distraction in the vehicle.”

In the state of Texas, there is no statewide ban on using cell phones while driving, though it is illegal to text and drive anywhere in this state. That said, all drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using handheld devices while operating their vehicles.

What To Do If You Have Been A Victim Of A Texting and Driving Accident

If you have been the victim of a texting and driving in Austin or a surrounding neighborhood such as Round Rock, don’t hesitate to contact our Round Rock car accident lawyer today. In addition, the team at Bonilla Injury Law also specializes in bike accidents and wrongful death, so feel free to get in touch with our expert team of bicycle accident attorneys in Round Rock or our Round Rock wrongful death attorneys.