These days texting while driving is a major factor in many car accidents. In 2013, the state of Texas had more than 95,000 crashes and 460 deaths linked to distracted driving. While 44 cities in Texas are enforcing their own ordinances banning texting while driving, a statewide law has yet to be approved.
That may soon change with the recent approval of House Bill 80 which seeks to prohibit texting while driving in the entire state of Texas. The bill, if approved by the Governor, will expand the current prohibition of texting while driving in school zones and further cover texting even if a driver stops at a red light or stop traffic sign.
Injuries from Car Accidents
Distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents in Texas. Lives of some auto accident victims have either been lost or negatively impacted after an accident. In many cases, injured passengers of distracted driving accidents suffer serious injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Lost limbs
- Car Accidents
These may require extensive treatment, multiple surgeries, and long periods of rehabilitation and therapy in order to recover well. The costs of recovery arise not only from expensive medical treatment and procedures but also from
- Lost income from time off work
- Lost earning capacity arising from temporary or permanent disability
- Psychological and emotional stress
- Pain and suffering
If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident arising from distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation for the injury or wrongful death of a loved one.
Effect of Law on Texting While Driving
Houston is one of two major cities in Texas that still does not have an ordinance or rule against texting while driving. If HB 80 is signed into law, offenders may face a fine of at least $99 for first-time offenses and up to $200 for repeat offenses.
Even without this law, texting while driving may constitute negligence in a civil case for damages arising from an auto accident. Your personal injury attorney can explain what your legal options are and help establish legal responsibility for your injuries.
At the law firm of Charles J. Argento & Associates, our auto accident attorneys in Houston, with over 3 decades of experience in car accidents, has earned the prestigious AV-rating n Legal Ability and Ethical Standards, helping families of car accident victims recover compensation that they legally deserve.
Study Determines Just How Risky It Is to Text and Drive
As both the use of smartphones and the rate of fatal auto accidents increase across the US, it doesn’t feel like a shocking statement to say that using a phone while driving is a dangerous activity. That said, there has not been much high-quality research done on just how problematic it is for drivers to talk, text, or email while they’re on the road. A team of researchers seeking to change this fact has recently released the results of a years-long study of the impact of cell phone use on crash rates. Read on to learn more about the results of this study, and contact a seasoned Houston personal injury lawyer with any questions after a Texas distracted driver crash.
Video captures drivers distracted by their phones before a crash
The newly-published study was released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The research was conducted by using video footage taken from inside the passenger cabin of over 3,000 participating drivers’ vehicles over the course of several years. The researchers studied the footage to identify what sorts of behaviors drivers engaged in prior to a crash, and they used this information to calculate the increased crash rate based on the particular behavior. For example, researchers calculated crash rates for drivers who were engaging in phone use that required the driver to look at and touch their phones (such as texting, emailing, or browsing the internet), hands-free phone conversations, and handheld phone conversations, as well as crash rates where drivers weren’t distracted at the time of the crash.
According to their results, drivers who were engaged in a visual and manual task on their phones had a crash risk that was up to eight times higher than if they were paying attention to the road. Drivers who talked on their phone had a four-times-higher crash risk, and researchers found no difference between the risk of a crash for drivers who talked on the phone while holding the phone versus using a hands-free device. This type of research can be helpful in proving an at-fault driver’s liability for damages in a crash. Your personal injury attorney can use such research to show the recklessness of the decision to text or email behind the wheel, despite the widespread knowledge that these actions put neighboring drivers at serious risk of being hurt in an accident.
We offer a free consultation to assess your situation and welcome your call to our offices today at (713) 225-5050.