There are thousands of deaths caused by texting and driving every year. Texting while driving is part of the broader distracted driving category. According to the National Institute of Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,166 people were killed in car accidents involving distracted drivers in 2017. This accounts for nine percent of fatal crashes, which claimed a total of 37,133 lives.
Despite the number of deaths caused by texting and driving in 2017, it is extremely difficult to specify how many accidents are due to texting and driving. This would require drivers to admit that they were texting at the time of their accident.
Texting and Driving Dangers
Various published reports illustrate the dangers and prevalence of texting and driving:
- People who text and drive are more likely to crash or near-crash by 23.2%, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
- If a driver glances at their phone for 5 seconds while going 55 mph, their vehicle will cover the length of a football field in that time, according to the NHTSA.
- As many as 481,000 drivers may be using their cell phones at any given time during daylight driving hours the NHTSA estimates.
Many states have enacted legislation that makes texting and driving illegal. Louisiana, for example, imposes a $175 fine on those caught texting while driving the first time. Subsequent violations will increase the fine to $500.
The Distracted Driving Category
Texting while driving is just one negligent activity in the distracted driving category. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” This can include:
- Eating while driving
- Drinking while driving
- Changing the car’s entertainment system
- Turning to speak with others in the car while driving
- Tending to pets in the vehicle while driving
Any activity that takes a driver’s eyes or attention off the road, or their hands off the wheel, can be considered distracted driving.
Other Forms of Negligent Driving
In the eyes of the law, distracted driving can be negligent behavior if a driver’s distraction causes an accident. This can make a distracted driver liable for injuries and damage their negligence causes on the road.
In addition to distracted driving, motorists engage in negligence when:
- Failing to maintain lane integrity
- Changing lanes abruptly and without signaling
- Driving too closely to the car in front
- Being drunk while driving
- Being under the influence of drugs while driving
- Driving at night without headlights
- And more
If you were in an accident where distracted driving or another form of driver negligence was a factor, then you may be able to collect compensation for your losses. A car accident lawyer can help you pursue such compensation.
The Benefits of a Car Accident Lawyer
Many lawyers specialize in fighting cases on behalf of victims who were injured or lost a loved one due to distracted driving by another motorist. Representation by a lawyer can allow you to heal from your injuries while the lawyer fights your case.
Some responsibilities of a lawyer in a car accident case can include:
- Filing your case before the statute of limitations and other deadlines expire
- Answering your questions and exploring all settlement options
- Gathering evidence that proves the negligence of the driver at fault
- Calculating your losses to advocate for a fair settlement or ruling
- Negotiating for a fair settlement and, if necessary, bringing your case trial
- Protecting your rights throughout the legal process
If you can prove that the defendant was negligent in your case, and that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries, you may be able to collect compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- And more
If your family member died in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to seek a settlement on their behalf in a wrongful death claim. In the case of wrongful death, compensation may cover:
- Loss of the deceased’s income
- Funeral-related expenses
- Loss of consortium
- And more
Every car accident is different, and therefore every car accident injury or wrongful death claim is different. The possible compensation that you may be eligible for will depend directly on the circumstances of your accident.
Call the Legal Team at Morris Bart, LLC Today
If you were injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of somebody else, the Morris Bart law firm would like to help you. Our car accident lawyers may be able to represent your case. For a free consultation on your case, call our office today at (800) 537-8185.