It is important that we all follow the rules of the road to ensure our safety as we travel, but it requires the participation of everyone on the road to work. However, when a negligent motorist decides to drive and text, their actions can lead to a tragedy.
At J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys, we’ve seen firsthand the devastation these types of accidents can cause. From catastrophic property damage to life-changing injuries — and even death — it’s never worth it to use your phone when you are behind the wheel.
That being said, let us look at the dangers of texting while driving, and explore what legal options you have available if you are injured by a distracted driver.
The Facts Reveal a Scary Truth
Since the advent of the cellphone, distracted driving accidents have increased at a huge rate.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, approximately nine people die in accidents involving distracted drivers, including those who were texting while driving. The organization also notes that over 1,000 people suffer injuries in these types of accidents daily.
In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 3,450 fatalities in distracted driving accidents. The National Safety Council also states that there are 390,000 injuries that occur in texting while driving accidents on a yearly basis.
Lastly, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey points out that handheld device usage, including cellphones, smartphones, tablets, etc., is highest among 16- to 24-year-old drivers — a group that already faces high rates of car accidents.
What Constitutes Texting and Driving?
Texting while driving is a huge part of what the law considers “distracted driving.” Texas is now one of 47 other states to ban texting while driving.
As per the Texas Department of Transportation, the law aims to “prohibit motorists from reading, writing, or sending electronic messages while driving.” First-time offenders can pay a fine of up to $99 while multiple offenses can result in fines of up to $200.
To keep our children safe, those under 18 cannot use a cellphone or hands-free device while behind the wheel unless it is an emergency. All drivers are also banned from using a cellphone in a school zone.
These laws were enacted to ensure everyone’s safety on the road, and it is up to us to act in good faith to prevent a serious accident from happening. However, should you be involved in a car accident where a driver was texting, there are ways to prove that they were distracted and at fault, including:
- Obtaining records from the driver’s phone company.
- Obtaining video from nearby traffic cameras.
- Securing testimony from witnesses who saw the negligent driver using a cellphone.
- Obtaining admission from the responsible party that they were texting while driving.
For more information on what your legal options are, visit www.jgonzalezlawfirm.com.
Your health and your recovery should be your main priority. Let the J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys fight on your behalf.