Despite the best efforts of government officials that are feverishly passing laws that ban texting and driving, and the abundant public relations campaigns that detail the dangers of looking at messages and responding to them, the numbers regarding texting and driving are more than a little discouraging.
To think that nearly ¼ of all auto accidents are due to texting is incredible, considering that such technology did not even exist a few years ago. To understand that more than 1 million crashes occur thanks to texting boggles the mind. The five seconds needed to type a text message means that at 55 mph, a person’s vehicle will cover more than a football field before the driver looks at the road again.
Another problem with texting is that rarely does just one message suffice. Many times, a driver will have an ongoing conversation via text, exchanging 3-10 messages, multiplying the seconds when the driver’s eyes are off the road and greatly increasing the possibility of an accident.
Safety experts have long known that auto accidents are caused primarily by driver negligence, and texting simply adds another way for drivers to get distracted and lose sight of the road and the vehicles around them. And, it is not just a problem with teens, although 1/3 of them admit to texting and driving. If you have ever been behind a car or truck that does not advance when the light turns green, or seen a vehicle veer from lane to lane, you know that in many cases the driver has been texting, and it often is an adult.
All kinds of people text and drive—those that believe they need to handle work matters on the road, those that are in communication with a loved one, those that are checking up on their children—the reasons are numerous and sometimes well intentioned. However, if you consider that a person is 23 times more likely to have an accident when texting, that’s right—23 times more likely, then you understand that communicating on a mobile device is foolhardy when operating a motorized vehicle.
The problem of texting is so bad and so often dangerous that some safety experts have said that its dangers are similar to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Motorists do not only miss the movements of the vehicles around them, they also don’t see hazards on the road quickly enough, such as a crossing deer or construction site or massive pothole. All of these road hazards can cause an accident when a driver is reading an inane message rather than watching the road.
If you were the victim of an accident during which the driver was texting while driving, contact a strong car accident attorney to determine what the best course of action is. Most reputable car accident lawyers offer both free consultations and work on a contingency basis, meaning that they do not earn a penny unless they help you get the compensation you will need to fully recover from your accident.
Even when conditions are ideal on the road, a driver that texts is distracted and far more likely to run red lights and stop signs, bump curbs and veer into other lanes.
Unfortunately, it can be hard for police to prove that a driver was texting when they investigate a crash. A driver will rarely, if ever, admit to texting, and it is easy to put a cell phone away in the moments after a crash occurs. In most cases, the phone needs to be examined to see when texts were exchanged and verify the time of the crash, etc.
In other words, a little digging needs to be done to prove texting as a factor, which is why you should contact a car accident lawyer if you believe that the driver of the other vehicle in your accident was texting while driving. Let a qualified car accident attorney investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine if texting can be proven and was a contributing cause of the collision.
Whether or not texting while driving is illegal in your state (it is in 44 states and Washington, D.C.), you can enlist the services of a strong car accident lawyer to pursue your case and win the compensation you will need to pay your medical costs, make up for lost work time, and even pay for pain and suffering, if appropriate.
Don’t let a careless driver who was texting with his girlfriend put you in a horrible economic and mental state. Contact a car accident lawyer promptly and get the help you need to recover completely and without worry.