How Many Accidents Are Caused by Texting and Driving

How Many Accidents Are Caused by Texting and Driving

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How Many Accidents Are Caused by Texting and Driving

In 2021, about 42,915 people died due to car accidents, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Out of that number, texting and driving claimed 3,522 lives. That just shows how serious of a problem texting and driving is.

Texting while driving has become a leading cause of distracted driving and subsequently car accidents. Sending or reading a text can take 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.

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence, and if you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation. This is money you may need to cover medical bills, vehicle repairs, and the means to move forward with your life after a devastating accident.

If you need help, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more about your legal options.

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FAQ

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • Is Texting and Driving Illegal?

    As of April 2023, texting while driving in 48 states and the District of Columbia is illegal. Montana and Missouri are the two states without specific laws banning texting and driving. However, they have some restrictions on the use of cell phones 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?

    When you text and drive, you split your attention between the phone and the road. This can affect your reaction time and impair your ability to make quick decisions.  

    Texting and driving can also 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 be enough to cause a serious accident. Statistics show that texting and driving can take your attention off the road for at least five seconds. That's more than enough to cause a tragic accident.

  • How Do Attorneys Prove Texting While Driving Cases?

    When you contact an attorney about your injuries stemming from the other driver's negligence (texting and driving in this case), they will conduct thorough investigations to prove your case. It is worth mentioning that it can be difficult to prove that the other driver was texting while driving. To prove this element, which is crucial to your case, the attorney may obtain the following types of evidence.

    Witness statements: If there were witnesses to the accident, an attorney will interview them to determine if they saw the other driver using their phone at the time of the accident.

    Phone records: A lawyer can subpoena the other driver's phone records to determine whether they were using their phone at the time of the accident.

    Police report: Suppose the police responded to the accident scene. In that case, their report may contain information about whether the other driver was using their phone at the time of the accident. This also explains why contacting 911 after an accident is crucial.

    Video evidence: If there were surveillance cameras in the area, an attorney can request footage that could help prove that the other driver was using their phone.

    Admissions: In some cases, the other driver may admit to texting while driving, either at the accident scene or in subsequent conversations.

    Here is an important thing to note, though; because it can be challenging to prove that the other driver was texting while driving, you need an attorney with powerful legal resources to investigate the case. Otherwise, they will not conduct thorough investigations, jeopardizing your chances of recovering full compensation for your injuries or losses.

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

    As strange as it sounds, you may still recover compensation for your injuries and losses even if you were texting while driving when the accident happened. Here is why.

    Many states have comparative negligence laws that allow you to recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. Under this legal doctrine, each party involved in the accident is assigned a percentage of fault per their contribution to the accident. So, while texting and driving may have contributed to the accident, this does not necessarily mean that you are entirely responsible for the damages.

    Here's an example of such a situation.

    Say you were texting and driving and collided with another car. It is later discovered that the other driver was speeding and ran a red light while drunk at the same time. In that case, while you may be at fault for texting and driving, the other driver has at least three faults: speeding, drunk driving, and running a red light.

    In such a case, if the court determines that the other driver was 70% at fault, it means you were 30% at fault. As a result, you will still be able to recover 70% of the damages you are entitled to.

  • What Are Some Common Causes of Texting and Driving?

    Texting while driving is a worrying trend in the digital age. And things will only get worse with the emergence of platforms such as social media. One study by A&T revealed that 40% of drivers use social media while driving.

    Here are some common reasons for this disturbing and dangerous trend.

    Addiction to technology: Smartphone addiction is a real and serious problem in the US. Research has shown that the average American checks their phone about 350 times a day. That's at least once every four minutes. This addiction can make it difficult for drivers to resist the urge to text while driving.

    FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): FOMO, a term introduced in 2004, is a common reason people engage in various social media activities and a leading cause of texting while driving. Drivers may feel the need to respond to messages and notifications in real-time to avoid feeling like they're missing out on important information or social events.

    Time management: Some drivers may be tempted to send text messages while driving, particularly if they're running late or trying to multitask.  

    Peer pressure: Drivers may feel pressured to respond to messages quickly, particularly from friends or family members who expect a prompt response.  

    Lack of awareness: Some drivers may not fully understand the risks of texting while driving. Others may overestimate their ability to drive safely while distracted.

  • How Can I Avoid Texting and Driving?

    Given the worrying statistics about texting and driving, you have a part to play in preventing such accidents. Remember that you don't even have to be addicted to your phone to cause such an accident. All it takes is one second of distraction.

    Here are some tips to avoid texting and driving:

    • Turn off your phone or put it on silent to avoid the temptation to check it while driving.  
    • Use voice-to-text or hands-free technology to compose and send the message without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.
    • Set up your GPS before you start driving so that you don't need to touch your phone while on the road.
    • Assign a designated texter to respond to your messages on your behalf while you focus on driving.
    • If you have to use your phone urgently, pull over to ensure that you're not putting yourself or others in danger while you're using your phone.

    Remember, the responsibility to keep our roads safe starts with you. That's why most driving instructors will tell you to drive like everyone is a bad driver except you.

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

    The truth is that while distracted driving is a major contributing factor to car accidents in the country, there's more to be worried about. Here are other common causes of distracted driving worth knowing (and avoiding).

    Eating or drinking while driving: This can be distracting, especially if you spill something or need to use your hands to open a container or unwrap food. If you must eat on the road, pull into a safe area and enjoy your meal.

    Grooming: Applying makeup, brushing your hair, or checking your appearance in the mirror can take your eyes off the road and increase the risk of a crash.

    Using a GPS: While GPS can help you reach your destination, it can also be why you or someone else did not make it. As mentioned before, you should set up the address of your destination before you begin driving.

    Talking on the phone: Most people don't know that talking on the phone can be distracting, even when using a hands-free device. This is especially true if you're not good at multitasking. To avoid this, ensure you put your phone on silent mode or make phone calls before you begin driving.

    Adjusting music or other controls: Changing the radio station, adjusting the volume, or searching for a song on your phone can all distract your eyes from the road. One way to avoid this is by creating a playlist before driving.

    Engaging with passengers: Conversations with passengers can be distracting, especially if they require your full attention or involve emotional or heated discussions. Instead, let them know that you need to concentrate on the road. After all, their safety depends on your concentration.

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

    While you may be stopped at a red light, checking your phone is still unsafe. Unfortunately, many people use red lights and stop signs as an opportunity to check their phones.

    Think about it this way; you're not the only driver waiting to use their phone at the next stop sign or red light. And according to research, it takes roughly three seconds of distraction to cause an accident. Earlier, we mentioned that texting and driving could take your attention off the road for at least five minutes.

    Now do the math. Realistically, since it only takes three seconds of distraction to cause an accident, five seconds of texting is more than enough to cause serious injuries or even death on the road.

    The bottom line is that your attention should always be on the road to ensure you can respond to any unexpected changes or hazards. Even glancing at your phone can cause you to miss something important, such as a pedestrian or a car running a red light.

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

    If you or a loved one has been injured by a driver who was texting and driving, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses.

    An attorney can help gather evidence to support your case.

    Depending on the attorney you consult and their resources, they can also work with accident reconstruction experts to recreate the accident scene and determine crucial facts about the crash. That is also another reason to only consult an attorney with powerful resources to build a strong case for their clients.

    Next, once they've gathered the facts of the case, they will calculate your damages, giving you a better idea of what you may be entitled to if you win the case.

    After filing the claim and receiving a positive response from the other party, they can help negotiate fair compensation on your behalf.

    Finally, if necessary, an attorney can represent you in court after filing a lawsuit against the other party. This mostly happens if the liable party refuses to cooperate with your legal team.

  • Let Morgan & Morgan Fight for You

    At Morgan & Morgan, we understand your pain. We have represented thousands of families whose loved ones have been injured and even killed due to someone else's failure to pay attention on the road. While no amount of financial compensation can heal your injuries or bring your loved one back if they died in the accident, it can give you a sense of justice and closure.

    We’ve reviewed how many accidents are caused by texting and driving, now it’s time to find out how we can help with your case. Fill out our free case evaluation form today.

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