Since the advent and popularization of cellular phones and texting, drivers have struggled with texting while driving, which can expose other drivers to car accident risk. There’s always some important conversation to return to that can tempt drivers to operate their vehicles while distracted. Texting while driving can take a driver’s hands off the wheel, making controlling their vehicle much more difficult. They can become manually, visually, and cognitively distracted, not looking at the road and failing to give the utmost attention to driving while operating their vehicle.
This level of distraction can cause a car accident, which has become a significant problem for drivers in Texas. In 2020, one out of every six car accidents resulted from a distracted driver not paying attention to the road. Despite texting while driving being illegal in Texas since 2017, drivers still engage in harmful behavior and cause catastrophic car accidents through negligent driving actions.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving in Texas
Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous types of negligent driving behavior that can cause a car accident in Texas. Motorists who do not fully focus on the road can lose control of their vehicle or accidentally crash into another vehicle to cause a car accident. In 2022, one out of every six Texas car accidents resulted from distracted driving. Texas car accidents caused by distracted driving resulted in 487 fatalities and 2,824 severe injuries.
Texas drivers can commonly drive distracted when they text while driving. This is an epidemic facing drivers across the country, as everyone has a cell phone with texting capabilities. Not communicating with friends, family, co-workers, and business associates during a commute can be hard for some drivers, especially if they have a long drive ahead. However, texting while driving is an extremely dangerous driving behavior that can cause car accidents.
What Makes Texting While Driving So Dangerous?
Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions behind the wheel because it can encompass three types of distractions: manual, visual, and cognitive. The driver has to take their hands off the wheel to text, look away from the road, and take their attention from driving. Doing any of these can be dangerous enough; doing them all simultaneously can be calamitous.
Drivers who fail to pay proper attention to the road can run red lights, speed above the legal limit, fail to see vehicles changing into their lines, and drive through intersections with pedestrians in the crosswalk. Texting while driving can take away a driver’s ability to adjust based on a road obstacle or mistake behind the wheel, leading to many car accidents caused by texting while driving.
Is Texting While Driving Illegal in Texas?
Texas drivers are not allowed to text while operating a motor vehicle. After many motor vehicle accidents were caused by texting while driving, the Texas state legislature passed a ban in 2017 on texting while driving. This was an attempt to dissuade drivers from texting while operating their vehicles to help prevent the high number of distracted driving accidents that the state was seeing at that time.
While texting behind the wheel was banned, using a cell phone while driving was not completely banned. Drivers could still use their cell phones for navigation purposes like using a GPS app. However, all Texas teen drivers were banned from using cell phones at all during their first six months behind the wheel. Texting drivers can face heavy penalties of $99 on their first offense and $200 on every subsequent offense.
Why Do People Text While They Drive in Texas?
Despite texting while driving being illegal in Texas, drivers still do it and cause car accidents. People can have an overreliance on their devices and be tempted to use them for texting even when they know they should not. Some have a good excuse, such as needing to keep in contact with a distressed loved one or business contact during their commute.
However, others text while driving when they do not need to and would be better off waiting to send the text until after they finish their commute. Some drivers may believe they can quickly send a text message while a road or street is clear without any problem. Even a quick distraction can cause a person to lose control of their vehicle and cause a serious car accident.
Damages in a Texas Texting While Driving Car Accident Claim
If you suffered a Texas car accident because of a texting driver, you could file a car accident claim to hold the at-fault party accountable for your damages. You can pursue any losses that affect your health, well-being, and financial situation. Economic and non-economic damages are the two common damages pursued in car accident claims.
Economic damages are monetary losses caused by a car accident. Victims can experience severe car accident injuries that can lead to high medical costs and wage-based losses that they will have to pay for. Non-economic damages are intangible losses after a car accident that lead to reduced quality of life and can cause emotional and mental issues.
The following are some damages caused by texting while driving accidents in Texas:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of parental services
- Loss of society
Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer to Help With Your Texting While Driving Car Accident
After a car accident, a Texas car accident victim can file a car accident claim with the texting driver who caused the accident to pursue compensation for damages. The best chance for them to recover fair compensation for their damages is to hire a car accident lawyer who can bring their experience in car accident claims.
They can use their expertise gained over years of helping Texas car accident victims recover compensation for damages. A Texas car accident lawyer can help determine the value of your claim, assess liability, collect evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement. The at-fault party’s insurance company may try to limit your settlement, so it’s essential to have an experienced negotiator that can combat their tricks to deny, delay, or devalue your settlement.
Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Texting Car Accident Claim
At The Russo Firm, our Texas car accident lawyers have experience helping victims of car accidents involving texting drivers. We understand how they can expose you to significant injury risk and wish to help you hold them accountable for your damages. Our car accident lawyers offer free consultations to show how they can help with your Texas texting accident claim. Contact us for a free Texas car accident consultation at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page.