Since the advancement of cellphones, many states have made texting and driving illegal. However, laws haven’t deterred drivers in Texas from texting while driving. Research indicates that texting and driving is six times as dangerous as drunk driving.
What is the risk?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports distracted driving caused 3,142 deaths from motor vehicle accidents in 2019. The National Safety Council reports that cellphone use causes 1.6 million accidents annually, and 200,000 of those accidents are caused just by texting. A distracted driver increases their crash rate by 400% when they don’t use a hands-free device while driving.
Texting is a form of distracted driving, which means any activity that takes the driver’s mind and eyes off the road. Texting is the most dangerous activity out of all cellphone tasks because the driver must look at a screen. Texting while driving 55 mph takes the driver’s attention from the road long enough to cover a football field in five seconds.
Texting and driving lawsuits
Individuals who have been injured in a texting and driving accident may seek litigation against the negligent driver. However, they must prove that the driver was negligent and gather proof from cellphone records and medical reports. The crash victim may also check for cellphones thrown around the vehicle or witnesses who saw them texting while driving as potential proof.
Some drivers may deny that they were texting and driving and try to place some blame on the injured driver using comparative negligence. Texas commonly applies modified comparative fault, which means if a party is 51% or more responsible, they can’t seek damages. For example, if the injured driver drove while impaired or ran a red light, it may reduce their compensation.
An injured accident victim can typically seek damages for pain and suffering, mental distress, shock and lost wages. However, they should ensure that they have evidence to show the liable driver’s negligence.