Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of car accidents in Texas and throughout the United States. Today's handheld devices offer a slew of convenient functions that often cause distraction. For this reason, many drivers have a difficult time turning off their cellphones and putting them out of reach. In addition, some drivers eat, drink, groom and multitask while driving.
Distracted driving comes in three forms:
Visual — Drivers take their eyes off the road to engage in other tasks or look elsewhere.
Manual — Drivers take their hands off the steering wheel to engage in another task.
Cognitive — The attention of drivers drifts elsewhere.
Texting has become the most common and dangerous form of distracted driving. It generally takes five seconds to send or read a text message. When traveling at 55 mph, that's equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Distracted driving is more prevalent than we think
In 2018 alone, there were 2,841 confirmed traffic fatalities linked to distracted driving, according to the NHTSA. That includes 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists killed.
The numbers are likely higher, since drivers don't always leave behind physical or digital evidence. In many cases, distracted driving crashes are only confirmed when an at-fault driver admits to being distracted.
At any given time, you could be sharing the road with a distracted driver. A 2019 study published in Bloomberg found that for every 100 drivers, there is at least one driver who is distracted 45-50 percent of the time. There are also likely a few more that are distracted 30-45 percent of the time. Around 30 out of 100 drivers get distracted about 5 percent of the time when they drive. Those figures should be an eye opener as to how bad distracted driving really is.
Proving fault in a distracted driving accident
If you were involved in a crash with a distracted driver, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a settlement or verdict. The only obstacle is proving that negligence occurred. We can conclude that you were not at fault for your crash. You could have been rear-ended while sitting at a red light, ran off the road by another driver or hit in a head-on collision.
The driver who hit you may not have admitted to driving distracted. In addition, his or her insurance company may try to pin the blame on you. This is where an in-depth investigation must be conducted by an experienced car accident attorney.
An attorney at Karam Law Firm can find out where negligence occurred by:
- Obtaining cellphone records from the at-fault driver's mobile provider. This may provide evidence that the driver sent a text message, made a phone call or browsed the internet at the time of the crash.
- Check the at-fault driver's social media accounts. Did the at-fault driver post to a social media account at the time of the crash? A simple check of his or her social media accounts may reveal critical evidence.
- Statements from witnesses. Other drivers who stopped to help may have witnessed the at-fault driver swerving, speeding or driving erratically.
- Surveillance video footage. Tracking down video footage is often difficult, but it may provide visual evidence that the at-fault driver was engaging in another task at the time of the crash.
Our law firm will use this evidence to help you build a strong legal claim. We'll also deal with the insurance companies and fight for maximum compensation for you. We're located in McAllen and Edinburg, Texas. Contact us online or call us for your free consultation.