While smartphones were once reserved for the financially elite, the Pew Research Center reported that they are now owned by more than 64 percent of American adults. Many people in Texas and across the country depend on these high-functioning cell phones to keep them connected.
In addition to making calls, smartphones allow people to text, search the internet, compose and check email, play games, access social media, listen to music and even watch movies. When people start to use their smartphones to talk and text while driving, however, the situation becomes much more serious.
Distracted Driving Accidents: A Deadly Problem
In 2013, distracted driving was responsible for killing approximately 3,154 people and injuring an additional 424,000 people in the U.S., according to Distraction.gov. In Texas alone, 468 people lost their lives and 3,214 were seriously injured in distracted driving accidents in 2014. Altogether, there were 100,825 motor vehicle accidents in Texas that involved people who were using their cell phones while driving, as reported by the National Safety Council.
In an attempt to lower the distracted driving fatality rate, many states have enacted legislation banning drivers from using cell phones while driving. The Governors Highway Safety Association reported that currently, 46 states prohibit all motorists from texting and driving, and 14 states do not allow drivers to talk on hand-held devices.
Texas bans novice drivers and bus drivers from texting and driving. Yet, the state does not have a law making it illegal for all other drivers to engage in this deadly activity (except within school zones). Many people believe that stronger cell phone laws may help to decrease the rate of distracted driving car accidents and save lives.
Using a Cell Phone Causes a Loss of Concentration
The reason why texting and talking on cell phones is dangerous for motorists is that these tasks are major forms of driver distraction. Although drivers may feel as though they are able to multitask by engaging in another activity, studies published by the NSC show that the human brain is not able to do so. When drivers take their hands off of the steering wheel, remove their eyes from the road or concentrate on something other than driving, they are at a high risk of becoming involved in a car accident.
Hit By a Distracted Driver? We Can Help You Take Action.
If you are the unsuspecting victim of a distracted driver’s negligent actions, you may be suffering from serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, back trauma and even spinal cord damage. You may want to turn to a personal injury lawyer in Austin for legal counsel regarding your case. A lawyer from The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC can listen to the details of your accident and help you determine the best course of action.