Distracted Driving in Texas: A Danger to All
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,154 people killed and about 424,000 people injured in car accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2013, the most recent year for which there is complete public data.
Approximately 10 percent of drivers below the age of 20 who were involved in fatal accidents were distracted at the time, the highest percentage of any driving demographic. One expert estimate says that at any given moment in the United States, approximately 660,000 drivers are distracted by the use of cell phones or other electronic devices while they’re behind the wheel.
Clearly, distracted driving is a nationwide problem, one that has also made its presence known in Texas. In 2014, 100,825 auto accidents in the state involved some form of distracted driving, an increase compared to 2013.
There are three general types of distracted driving, each of which is extremely dangerous:
- Cognitive distractions. If a motorist simply isn’t focused on driving and has his or her mind elsewhere, that constitutes a cognitive distraction. Examples include talking to other passengers, singing along to music or being preoccupied with general life problems.
- Visual distractions. Any time a driver looks at anything other than the road, it is considered to be a visual distraction. Examples include looking at a GPS device, looking back to check a child’s seatbelt or being distracted by anything outside of the car.
- Manual distractions. If a driver has to take one or both hands off the wheel to accomplish a task, it’s considered a manual distraction. Common examples include drinking or eating, adjusting volume settings on the radio and reaching for an item in the backseat of the vehicle.
The use of a cell phone while driving, especially when it comes to texting, is particularly dangerous because it represents a combination of all three forms of distraction.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident you believe was the result of distracted driving, meet with a dedicated Houston attorney at Cire Law Firm right away. Give us a call at 713.532.6206 or contact us online.