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A look at distracted driving in Texas

by | Nov 15, 2018 | Car Accidents |

Distracted driving remains a dangerous problem in Texas. Over a three-year period in Texas, one in five car accidents was attributed to distracted driving. Texas has initiated a campaign to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and encourage drivers throughout Texas to put down their cell phones while driving.

During 2017, there were a total of 537,475 car accidents and 100,687 of them, or 19 percent, involved some type of distracted driving such as driver distraction, inattention or cell phone use. Of those distracted driving-related car accidents, victims suffered 2,889 serious injuries and 444 fatalities. As of last fall, a statewide law in Texas made it illegal for drivers to read, write or send a text while driving.

Texting and driving is considered a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving because it combines all three forms of distraction. The three types of distraction include visual, manual and cognitive distraction. Visual distractions remove the driver’s eyes from the roadway; manual distractions remove the driver’s hands from the wheel; and cognitive distraction removes the driver’s attention and focus from the task of driving. Distracted driving includes any behavior that removes the driver’s attention from the road and can include eating and drinking, applying makeup, grooming, programming a navigation system, adjusting a radio or texting while driving.

It is recommended that if drivers need to talk or text on their cell phone, that they pull over when it is safe to do so to a safe location to avoid the dangers of distracted driving. Distracted driving can be considered negligent behavior if a car accident victim brings a claim for damages against a distracted driver. A claim for damages may hold the distracted driver liable to compensate the victim for their physical, financial and emotional damages to help them with the recovery process following a car accident.