Jun 10, 2024

How Many Car Accidents Are Caused by Texting and Driving?

How Many Car Accidents Are Caused by Texting and Driving - don't text and drive sign

Legally reviewed by Hector J. Rojas Jr., Trial Attorney at Morgan & Morgan, on June 10, 2024.

 

In 2021, about 42,915 people died in car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Out of that number, texting and driving claimed 3,522 lives, highlighting how serious this problem is.

Texting while driving is a leading cause of distracted driving and subsequent car accidents. Sending or reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for at least five seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence or distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation can help cover medical bills, vehicle repairs, and the means to move forward after a devastating accident. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more about your legal options.

Is Texting and Driving Illegal?

As of April 2023, texting while driving is illegal in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Montana and Missouri do not have specific laws banning texting while driving but have some restrictions on cell phone use while driving. Not surprisingly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Montana had the fifth-highest number of accidents caused by texting and driving.

Why Is Texting and Driving Dangerous?

Texting while driving splits your attention between your phone and the road, affecting your reaction time and ability to make quick decisions. It can cause you to drift out of your lane, miss traffic signals or stop signs, and fail to see pedestrians or other vehicles. Even a brief distraction can lead to a serious accident.

How Do Attorneys Prove Texting While Driving Cases?

Proving that the other driver was texting while driving can be challenging. However, an attorney can gather evidence to support your case, including:

  • Witness Statements: Interviewing witnesses who saw the other driver using their phone.
  • Phone Records: Subpoenaing the other driver’s phone records.
  • Police Reports: Reviewing reports that may mention phone use.
  • Video Evidence: Requesting footage from surveillance cameras.
  • Admissions: Leveraging any admissions from the other driver.

Due to the difficulty of proving texting while driving, you need an attorney with powerful legal resources to investigate your case thoroughly.

Can I Still File a Claim if I Was the One Texting While Driving?

Surprisingly, you may still recover compensation even if you were texting while driving. Many states have comparative negligence laws that allow you to recover damages even if you were partially at fault. For example, if you were 30% at fault, you could still recover 70% of your entitled damages.

What Are Some Common Causes of Texting and Driving?

Texting while driving is a worrying trend in the digital age. Common reasons include:

  • Addiction to Technology: Frequent phone checking due to addiction.
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): The need to stay updated on social media and messages.
  • Time Management: Multitasking while running late.
  • Peer Pressure: The expectation to respond quickly to messages.
  • Lack of Awareness: Underestimating the risks of texting while driving.


How Can I Avoid Texting and Driving?

To prevent accidents caused by texting and driving:

  • Turn off your phone or put it on silent while driving.
  • Use voice-to-text or hands-free technology.
  • Set up your GPS before starting your journey.
  • Assign a designated texter if necessary.
  • Pull over if you need to use your phone urgently.


What Are Other Forms of Distracted Driving Besides Texting and Driving?

Other common distractions include:

  • Eating or Drinking: Handling food or drinks while driving.
  • Grooming: Applying makeup or checking your appearance.
  • Using a GPS: Setting up or adjusting navigation while driving.
  • Talking on the Phone: Even hands-free calls can be distracting.
  • Adjusting Music: Changing radio stations or searching for songs.
  • Engaging with Passengers: Distracting conversations or arguments.


Is It Okay to Quickly Check My Phone While I'm Stopped at a Red Light?

Checking your phone at a red light is still unsafe. It only takes a few seconds of distraction to cause an accident. Your attention should always be on the road to respond to any unexpected changes or hazards.


How Can an Attorney Help if I'm a Victim of an Accident Caused by a Distracted Driver?

If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, an attorney can:

  • Gather evidence to support your case.
  • Work with accident reconstruction experts.
  • Calculate your damages.
  • Negotiate fair compensation.
  • Represent you in court if necessary.


Let Morgan & Morgan Fight for You

At Morgan & Morgan, we understand your pain. We’ve represented thousands of families affected by distracted driving. While no amount of financial compensation can heal your injuries or bring back a lost loved one, it can provide a sense of justice and closure. Fill out our free case evaluation form today to find out how we can help with your case.