The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Safety Council (NSC), and so many more safety groups continually urge people to put their smartphones in their pockets when driving. Many states have also made it strictly illegal for anyone, regardless of age or driving experience, to text behind the wheel. What makes texting and driving so bad that all of these groups and agencies would deter it so?
The Menace of Texting & Driving
For starters, the NSC and NHTSA both estimate that one or two of every five car accidents involves at least one driver that was actively texting or using a cellphone at the time of the collision. This number could feasibly be much greater in actuality, as many drivers will never admit to texting and driving. If everyone would leave their smartphones aside while driving, hundreds of lives would be saved each year, just in America.
Secondly, texting and driving is a form of driver distraction unlike most others. Whereas eating a snack generally only takes the drivers hands off the steering wheel and engages in one type of distraction, for example, texting is comprised of three different distraction forms.
When a person is texting and driving, they are distracted:
- Manually: Hands are taken off the steering wheel.
- Visually: Eyes are taken off the road.
- Cognitively: Mind is taken off the task.
To make matters worse, it is believed that cognitive distractions last in the average person’s mind for about 30 seconds. In other words, if you are cognitively distracted by reading or sending a text, you will continue to experience that mental distraction for half a minute after putting away your phone. It all adds up to a huge risk to everyone on the road.
What Can I Do If Hit By a Texting Driver?
Texting and driving is inarguably a reckless driving behavior, but it doesn’t automatically make a driver completely liable for any resulting car accidents. Without proper preparation for a claim, you could still be responsible for paying some of your damages after being struck by a distracted driver. You will want to seek professional legal counsel as soon as possible.
Our Reston and Northern Virginia car accident attorneys from Hall & Sethi, PLC bring more than 65 years of combined legal experience to each personal injury claim we handle. Contact our team at your first opportunity to learn how our representation could help you win a fair settlement or verdict amount.