Texting While Driving: A Dangerous Distraction
Distracted driving is any action that redirects your attention from the task of driving to something else. It’s reckless behavior that can cause severe injuries and fatalities during a collision between two vehicles. According to statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2019.
There are three main types of distractions:
- Manual – Removing one or both hands from the wheel to touch, grab, or perform another task.
- Visual – Taking one’s eyes off the road ahead to look at something else.
- Cognitive – Focusing on something other than driving.
Texting is common among drivers, requiring all three types of distractions. Whether you’re reading or sending a text, you need your hands, eyes, and focus. That increases the risk of a texting while driving accident occurring because you’re less likely to notice what’s happening in front of you. If traffic suddenly stops or there’s a hazard in the road, you probably won’t have enough time to react appropriately and prevent a collision.
Why Texting Might Be Worse Than Drunk Driving
Many experts have gone as far as saying that texting is just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, as drunk driving. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute studied the effects of alcohol and texting on a person’s mental and physical faculties. They determined that someone who’s texting is six times more likely to be in an accident than someone under the influence of alcohol.
Additionally, using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle can reduce a person’s brain activity by as much as 37%. It affects your reaction time the same way drinking four beers in one hour would.
It takes an average of five seconds to send or read a text message. If you’re driving 55 miles per hour while looking down at your phone, you could travel the entire length of a football field in that time. A lot can happen in five seconds when you’re sharing a road with other vehicles.
Additionally, the lapse in attention not only prevents you from seeing what’s going on around you but when you do look up from your phone again, it could take a few seconds for your eyes to adjust. In that short amount of time, your brain might not register that you’re approaching a construction zone or your car is drifting into another lane until it's too late.
Injuries Commonly Sustained In Car Accidents Due To Texting While Driving
Motor vehicle accidents can cause a range of injuries to the occupants of every vehicle involved. When someone focuses on their cell phone instead of the road, they could jump the curb, swerve into oncoming traffic, or fail to notice a pedestrian crossing the street.
The most common injuries resulting from texting while driving accidents are:
- Broken bones
- Concussion, traumatic brain injury, and other head injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Psychological damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Permanent disability
Unfortunately, the injuries suffered in a car crash could cause lifelong problems. You might need ongoing physical therapy to manage your pain and other symptoms you’re experiencing. Some people need surgery to repair a broken bone or to reattach a severed limb. If you become disabled, you could require assistance performing routine tasks or caring for your family.
Medical treatment and associated costs can place a significant economic strain on a person’s life. It’s something that can seem overwhelming with no end in sight. Accident victims deserve to be compensated for the pain and suffering they endure due to another person’s negligent behavior.
Handling the Aftermath of A Car Accident
If you sustain injuries in a collision with a distracted driver, you have a right to hold them liable. Texting while driving isn’t only careless but also illegal. When someone else is at fault for an accident you’re involved in, you could pursue compensation from them. Your medical bills are likely significant, especially if your injury is severe. You shouldn’t be forced to pay for these expenses yourself.
An experienced and knowledgeable attorney could represent you and seek the monetary award you need to cover your expenses. You shouldn’t have to take on the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company yourself. You need an experienced legal team by your side that knows how to get the job done. After a serious accident, the best thing you can do for yourself is hire an excellent lawyer and let them take over your case. Learn more about your rights and how to fight for justice.