A distracted driving accident attorney in Bedford, Texas will help with your claim. In this video, Parker Law Firm Founder Brad Parker discusses how the firm helps you get the compensation you deserve.
Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Bedford, Texas
According to the distracted driving accident attorneys at Parker Law Firm, there’s no excuse for taking your attention away from the road. Whether it’s eating fast food between driving destinations, applying a touch-up to your makeup, trying to keep the peace between bickering children in the backseat or answering a quick work text at 70 miles per hour, taking your vision or mental concentration away from driving is reckless to the other drivers on the roadway.
All drivers in Bedford are obligated to operate their vehicles in a responsible manner. Drivers who breach that duty by allowing themselves to become distracted should be held liable for any harm they cause. If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, you should consult an experienced Bedford car accident attorney to analyze whether you may have legal recourse for your injuries. The distracted driving accident attorneys at Parker Law Firm have more than 30 years of experience representing injured victims in seeking damages for harm caused by car crashes.
What is Distracted Driving?
Some activities like listening to the radio are not very distracting. Other activities, such as conversing with a passenger or talking on a hand-held or hands-free cell phone, are associated with moderate increases in cognitive distraction. Finally, there are in-vehicle activities, such as using a speech-to-text system to send and receive texts or e-mail messages, which produce a relatively high level of distraction. It’s important for Bedford drivers to be able to identify the three types of distracted driving and remember just how dangerous they can be.
Visual distracted driving refers to anything that takes the driver’s eyes off the road. An example of this is turning to look at a passenger while having a conversation. The American Automobile Association explains that visual distractions such as glances away from the forward roadway lasting more than two seconds increase the risk of a crash or near-crash to more than two times that of normal driving.
Manual distractions are any activities that take the driver’s hands off the wheel. For instance, when a driver is holding food or a beverage, he or she is manually distracted. Studies among teen drivers found that manual distractions (operating electronic devices, adjusting controls, etc.) were the most common behaviors observed.
Cognitive or mental distractions take the driver’s mind off the task at hand. Dwelling on an intense conversation while behind the wheel might constitute as cognitively distracted driving. Any form of visual or manual distraction inherently involves an element of cognitive distraction, as well.
Distracted Driving Contributing Factors
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following factors are the most common for causing distracted driving accidents:
- Changing the volume and air conditioning in the car accounts for 2% of traffic casualties from distracted driving.
- Driving with other people in the car accounts for 5% of traffic fatalities concerning distracted driving.
- When a teen drives with a passenger, the risk of them dying in a car accident doubles. This quintuples when there are more than three passengers in a car.
- Only 1% of distracted driving accidents result from lighting or putting out cigarettes.
- Less than 2% of distracted driving accidents are the
- result of eating or drinking.
- Your attention span to the road decreases by 40% when you listen to music or podcasts in the car.
- 20% of drivers admit to doing their hair while driving.
- Cell phone use is the highest cause of distracted driving. 14% of distracted driving fatalities come from cell phone use.
- Snacking, reading, and personal grooming all increase the chance of a collision by two to three times.
- Driving with children results in parents taking their eyes off the road for an average of 3 minutes and 22 seconds during a 16-minute car ride. That’s more than a fifth of the trip.
- 65% of dog owners admit to tending to their pets while driving.
- 53% of drivers think “infotainment” in their vehicle like touchscreen navigation is safe to use.
- Eating and drinking increases the likelihood of an accident by 80%.
Distracted Driving Can Wait
While traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens and they are far more likely to send and receive text messages while driving than adults, they are not the only offenders. Our society has become so connected to their electronic devices that they kind of forget themselves. It can wait! There is no text or call that is important enough to lose your life.
It’s not only visual impairment in which drivers should be concerned. Using a cell phone for any purpose while driving affects a person’s cognitive ability. Brad says, “People may think they are being responsible if they are utilizing hands-free devices. It’s better but not by much. Here’s a perfect example…Have you ever been driving along while in a conversation on your phone, and after you hang up you must ask yourself where you are? Do you ever forget to exit because you are so engrossed in the conversation you are having? This is evidence that both texting AND talking while driving affects your overall awareness.”
Research shows that text messaging causes drivers to take their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds over a six-second interval. That means at 55 miles per hour, a texting driver will travel the distance of a football field without paying attention to the road.
Texas Efforts to Reduce Distracted Driving
Sending electronic messages while driving became illegal in Texas on Sept. 21, 2017. This law only applies to texting or sending emails while in a moving vehicle, which means that a driver can still text in their cars but only if it is at a complete stop. If you break the law, it will cost you $99 for your first offense. Any repeat offenses cost $200. If there is an accident that happens because of your texting, you could be jailed for up to one year and receive a fine of up to $4,000. Additional cellphone laws to remember including:
- You cannot send or receive electronic messages while driving in Texas.
- Drivers with learner’s permits are prohibited from using cellphones in the first six months of driving.
- Using any handheld device in your vehicle in a school zone is illegal.
- Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using handheld devices.
- School bus drivers may not use cellphones at all while driving if children are present.
A Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Can Help You Prove Negligence
In distracted driving accidents, it’s imperative to provide evidence that the other driver was distracted. Some types of information must be obtained at the time of the accident, but others can be gathered after the fact. Here are the types of things Parker Law Firm’s car accident attorneys consider when gathering evidence to prove negligence in distracted driving cases:
If there were any eyewitnesses to the accident, such as other car drivers or bystanders, it is pivotal that they give a statement to the police. You should also collect their contact details. If your claim goes to court, eyewitness testimony can be crucial evidence.
Dash or Traffic Camera Footage
In some cases, you can rely on traffic camera footage to show a distracted driver’s actions. However, you will need to arrange for getting any traffic camera footage as soon as you can after an accident, as traffic camera recordings are typically deleted after a few days or weeks.
A police report can be important evidence in any accident. It is also an opportunity for you to explain to an officer how the accident happened, so they can document everything you saw.
If you took any photographs at the scene of the accident, especially of any damage to the vehicles, keep them safe as evidence. Photographs can provide excellent evidence in a distracted driving accident case.
If a driver used their phone at the time of an accident, phone records can provide powerful evidence.
Need a Distracted Driving Accident Attorney?
Parker Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys have experience in discovering the causes of a car crash. If the accident was caused by a distraction, like text messaging or speaking on a cell phone, they can help. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your legal options. Those harmed by a distracted drivers should seek legal advice not only to weigh the options that are available but to get sound legal interpretation of Texas law.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Bedford, Texas office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free consultation.
Auto Accident Testimonial of Parker Law Firm
Parker Law Firm went above and beyond for me when I was in a car crash that left my back injured. Every encounter I had with them was supportive, caring and empathetic. They over communicated with me, keeping me apprised of the status of my claim through the entire process. It was truly a great experience working with them, I would hire them again (but hope I won’t need to)!