TEXTING AND DRIVING ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
The Consequences of Texting and Driving Accidents
Talking on the phone while driving is dangerous. However, texting while driving can be a larger distraction. Drivers who are reading, typing, or sending text messages instead of focusing on the road ahead can cause a traffic accident that severely injures or kills another person. The consequences can be life-altering for the victim and the family. When a driver is distracted at the time of a motor vehicle crash, that driver can be held liable for the consequences of the accident.
What are the Consequences of a Distracted Driving Accident?
The choice to ignore safe driving practices is negligent. Drivers have a duty to others to operate a motorized vehicle in a manner that does not put others at risk. When a driver who is using a cell phone while driving causes a crash, the consequences for victims injured in the collision can be significant. Consequences of texting and driving accidents include both economic and noneconomic damages.
Examples of the economic consequences of car crashes involving a distracted driver include:
- The cost of medical and personal care;
- Lost wages, including a loss of earning potential;
- Property damage;
- Travel expenses to and from doctor’s visits;
- Funeral and burial costs for a wrongful death;
- Cost of medical supplies and medications; and,
- Other expenses related to the accident or injury.
In addition to the economic damages, victims also suffer noneconomic damages or “pain and suffering” damages. Pain and suffering damages include physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and permanent disability. The severity of the injury, length of recovery, and whether there is permanent damage are factors in determining the value of the personal injury claim.
Victims of distraction-related accidents should not be required to bear the cost of the consequences of the accident. Drivers who cause car accidents because they are distracted must be held accountable for their actions. Filing a personal injury claim is a way to hold negligent drivers responsible for their reckless decisions.
Why is Texting While Driving One of the Worst Driving Distractions?
There are three types of distractions that can impair a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Using phones while driving to text involves all three distractions:
- Visual — Must take eyes off the road to look at the cell phone to read, type, or send a text message;
- Manual — Must take hands off the steering wheel to send or read a text; and,
- Cognitive — The driver is taking his mind off the task of driving to read or compose a message.
Because texting involves all three types of distractions, it is considered an extremely dangerous type of distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that it takes about five seconds to send or read a text. When traveling at 55 mph, a vehicle can travel a distance equal to a football field in that amount of time. Therefore, a driver who is texting is not in control of the vehicle and is negligent if he causes a vehicle-related accident.
Driving While Distracted in the United States
In the U.S., 3,450 people were killed in car accidents involving distracted motorists during 2016. Teen drivers are the largest age group involved in fatal distracted driving accidents. However, thousands of adults are distracted while driving too. Almost one-half million people use cell phones while driving each day during daylight hours. Drivers who cause accidents while using a mobile device should pay the expenses and compensate accident victims.