Table of Contents
- Austin Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
- Texas Distracted Driving Statistics
- What Are the Distracted Driving Laws in Texas?
- What Is the Penalty for Distracted Driving in Texas?
- What Happens After a Distracted Driving Accident?
- How Do Texting and Driving Accident Lawyers Help?
- Talk With an Austin Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Near You
Austin Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving consists of anything that takes attention away from driving. This can include fiddling with a cell phone, or navigation system, or eating and drinking.
Any of these activities can potentially endanger the lives of anyone on the road. There are three common forms of distracted driving, which include:
- Visual: where a driver takes their eyes off of the road to perform another task
- Manual: where a driver will take their hands off of the steering wheel
- Cognitive: where the driver is going through the motions and is not mentally mindful of the task at hand
Distracted drivers do not only impact passengers in vehicles; one in five victims of distracted driving accidents were shown to be pedestrians, cyclists, and others not inside a moving vehicle.
Car accidents caused by distracted drivers, often by someone texting while driving or using their cell phone, are a serious danger here in Austin and throughout the state of Texas.
While there are other forms or causes of distracted driving, the large majority of car crashes caused by distracted driving are due to cell phone use – talking on the phone or texting. While this problem is more prevalent among younger drivers, it is a significant problem across all demographics.
If you were recently involved in a car accident with a distracted driver and you believe or suspect the other driver was using their cell phone at the time of the crash or distracted for some other reason, the experienced texting and driving accident attorneys at Sandoval & James can help.
Feel free to contact us to better understand your rights, consultations are completely free.
Texas Distracted Driving Statistics
Cell phone use while driving causes numerous unnecessary car accidents every year. Unfortunately, these unnecessary crashes are often severe, commonly resulting in serious injuries or death.
According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), cell phone use and other forms of distracted driving killed 3,522 people in 2021.
In fact, 1 in 6 vehicle crashes in Texas involve driver distraction. Distracted driving was responsible for 95,777 crashes in Texas in 2022. More than 2,824 people were seriously injured as a result, and 487 died.
The number of distracted driving car accidents was highest among young drivers. Even though they make up only a small portion of the drivers on Texas roadways, statistics have shown that cell phone use while driving is far more prevalent among teenage drivers.
Cell phone use combined with that lack of overall driving experience among teenage drivers means they are not only more likely to be using their cell phone while driving but also more likely to cause a crash when they do so.
The harsh reality is that distracted driving accidents will claim the lives of several people in the United States every day.
Distracted driving accidents make up a large percentage of all car accidents each year. In the most recent collected data by the CDC, about 3,000 people die in crashes involving a distracted driver. And nine people in the United States are killed every day in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
What Are the Distracted Driving Laws in Texas?
Due to the danger distracted driving presents, Texas recently passed a new law that banned texting while driving statewide. This new law replaced existing city ordinances like Houston’s texting and driving ban. Under the new law, all drivers are prohibited from using handheld devices while driving across the state.
This law bans not only texting while driving but also using other apps to send or receive messages, such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Tik Tok.
What Is the Penalty for Distracted Driving in Texas?
While the penalty for texting while driving in Texas is relatively minor, a misdemeanor with a fine between $25 and $99 and up to $200 for repeat offenders. However, those costs pale in comparison with someone causing a crash while texting and driving, the consequences for that offense could be much more serious.
For example, if they cause a car accident resulting in serious injury or death, they could be fined up to $4,000 and spend one year in jail. It’s possible they could also be charged with criminally negligent homicide or vehicular manslaughter, both of which could result in even large fines and longer sentences.
Texas does allow for some limited use of a cell phone while driving, including the use of hands-free functions and GPS. However, looking at or operating a cell phone, even for these limited purposes while driving is still illegal and, more importantly, dangerous. This means that activating the hands-free or GPS on your phone must be done while the vehicle is stopped.
What Happens After a Distracted Driving Accident?
The Consequences of Distracted Driving
It only takes one second. A glance down to change the radio station. A quick peek at your cell phone to send a text message. Turning around for just a moment to see what the kids are doing in the back seat. Whatever the reason, it’s a distraction, and distracted drivers cause serious, and even fatal, crashes every single day.
Since the aftermath of a distracted driving accident can be chaotic and stressful, you will want to find the best Austin distracted driving attorney to help mitigate that stress by managing your claim.
Not only will they have the expertise in Texas state law, but they will also know how to best go about seeking a fair claim for the losses incurred.
Distracted driving can impact anyone, so it’s important to know what to do if someone who has taken their eyes off the road hits you.
What to Do if a Distracted Driver Hits You
Call the Police and Request Medical Attention
If a distracted driver hits you, you’ll need to call the police and request an ambulance (if you are physically able). This is critical even if no one feels as if they’ve been seriously injured. Often, accident victims do not feel the repercussions of the accident right away.
It is also important that you report your basis for believing the other driver was distracted to the police when they arrive. Depending on why the other driver was distracted, police may be able to gather the evidence needed to substantiate your claim.
If your vehicle is unable to be driven, a tow truck near you will be called to tow your vehicle away.
Again, if you are physically able, gathering the at-fault party’s contact and insurance information will be essential. It will be equally important to take notes or pictures of any evidence of distracted driving. Was the driver swerving just before the collision, or are there skid marks present on the road? Any evidence will support your claim.
Focus on Your Health
After the information-gathering period has concluded, it’s important to focus on your recovery. Enlisting the help of a distracted driving attorney can take the claims process off of your plate and allow you to take care of your injuries.
How Do Texting and Driving Accident Lawyers Help?
Many states have passed laws prohibiting distracted driving behaviors, such as texting on a cell phone while driving. Since laws and regulations vary – and Texas is no different – it’s beneficial to have an attorney who knows local laws to assist you with your case.
Our team of experienced lawyers at Sandoval & James is well-equipped to get you the compensation you deserve after a distracted driving accident.
There are other factors that can impact who is liable for a crash involving cell phone use or other types of distracted driving.
For example, if the person using their phone during the crash was working, their employer may also be responsible for the injuries caused by the crash. This is particularly true if the employer knew or should have known that their employee used their phone while driving.
It is crucial to seek the advice of experienced texting and driving accident lawyer to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation. We can help you determine who was responsible for a crash involving someone on their cell phone.
If you were hurt or injured after a car accident with someone who may have been on their cell phone and you are still at the scene of the crash, you should contact the police and report your suspicions to them right away.
This may prompt the police to investigate whether the other driver was in fact using their mobile phone. If the police cite or arrest the other driver for using their phone, it can help you establish that the other driver was the one who caused the crash.
If you believe you were in a crash with someone on their cell phone, it is also important that you speak with a texting and driving accident attorney right away. An experienced attorney will notify the other driver and his insurance company of the driver’s duty to preserve his cell phone and related records so that you can later prove he was using the phone if needed.
It is important to speak with an attorney even if you believe you were responsible for the crash. If the other driver was on their phone in an illegal way (other than hands-free or GPS), they may be liable for the crash even when they would normally not have been.
If you have been in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver and are looking for an attorney, we invite you to contact us today for a free consultation. If you are comfortable coming into our office, we would be happy to sit down and discuss your matter. You can also give us a call and we will try to answer any questions that you may have. Initial consultations are completely free.
Talk With an Austin Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Near You
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a distracted driver, talking with one of our distracted driving lawyers will help you learn more about your options and ability to recover compensation for your injuries.
There is absolutely no cost, and no risk in talking with a distracted driving accident attorney, it can only help your case if you have one. We invite you to contact our office to speak with one of our experienced distracted driving accident lawyers for a 100% free consultation.