Few people will admit it, but almost everyone has done it. You’re on the road and your text tone for your spouse or best friend goes off. It just takes a second to check, right? You look, tap back a quick response, and send it. No one gets hurt, nothing happens. These incidents are what make people think texting and driving is safe. If nothing happens the first, tenth, hundredth time, how bad can it be?
However, texting while driving is an inherently dangerous behavior that puts you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road at risk. Learn more about why you must avoid this behavior and what you should do if you are hit by a distracted driver. If you need to explore your legal options, reach out to Mann & Potter PC at 205-879-9661 to get started.
Texting and Driving Accident Statistics
Across the board, research that looks at texting and driving seems to be in agreement: texting while driving significantly increases the risk of an accident. Per the Federal Communications Commission, over 9% of fatal accidents in the United States during the last seven years were linked to a distracted driver. In 2018, more than 2800 fatalities occurred because of distracted driving. While texting and driving is a behavior that occurs across all age groups, it is most widely reported for those aged 16 to 24 years old.
Research conducted by AT&T is equally sobering. Nearly half of all drivers report texting while driving, even though almost 100% of the respondents indicated that texting while driving is unsafe. Think about that: people know texting while driving is unsafe, but roughly half of those people still choose to do it.
Checking your phone distracts you, on average, for 4.6 seconds. If you are traveling at 55 miles per hour, you could cover the entire length of a football field in the time it takes you to check your phone and get your eyes back on the road.
How Texting Distracts You
When experts look at distracted driving, they divide distracted driving tasks into three categories: physical, mental, and visual. Physical distractions are those that take your hands off the wheel and require you to use them on another task. Mental tasks are those that take your focus off of the job of driving. Visual tasks are ones that take your eyes off the road.
Which category does texting fit into? It fits into all three categories! To read and respond to a text, you have to grab your phone (leaving you with only one hand to drive), engage your mind in reading the text and writing a response, and take your eyes off the road. As a three-in-one risk, it should be obvious why texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions for drivers. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common.
Many states have implemented texting bans, handheld phone bans, or a complete ban on all handheld devices while driving. While Alabama does not have a handheld device ban, it does make texting while driving illegal. At least 21 states have handheld device bans in place, and more states seem to join every year. The goal is to make roadways safer, but with nearly half of all people admitting to texting and driving—and who knows how many others who do it but don’t admit to it—it could be a long road back to safe roads.
If you are hurt in a car accident, there’s a chance that a distracted driver is involved. This information may not always be immediately available, since drivers know that texting and driving is frowned upon. However, with the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can get to the root cause of the accident and hold the liable party responsible.
Contact Us If You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident with a Distracted Driver
Have you been injured due to a distracted driver’s actions? You shouldn’t be left shouldering your medical bills and other struggles alone. We’re here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Set up your free consultation now by calling us at 205-879-9661 or getting in touch online.