Distracted Driving Deaths & Dangers in Texas
Back in the summer of 2007, the original iPhone was released, and America got its first big wave of smartphone users. Around the same time, car accidents caused by distracted drivers also started growing in number – and it was not a coincidence. Texting-and-driving is extremely dangerous, and smartphones made this irresponsible driving behavior easier than ever.
Although smartphones keep coming out with new upgrades and looks, not much has changed in terms of texting-and-driving being a serious driving hazard. Here in Texas, distracted driving has stayed as one of the most common causes of crashes across the last decade or so, even as technology has improved to try to deter smartphone use behind the wheel, or at least make it safer with hands-free applications.
According to the most recent info from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
- Driver distraction is the 2nd-most-common cause of traffic accidents in Texas.
- About 20% of all crashes in Texas are caused by some form of driver distraction.
- Approximately 2,200 motorists and pedestrians were seriously injured by a distracted driver in 2020*.
- Also in 2020, 364 people died due to driver distraction, which is essentially one a day.
(* Total traffic accidents dropped across the country due to dramatically fewer drivers during coronavirus lockdowns in 2020. However, the rate of car accidents and traffic fatalities per mile driven went up in most places.)
What’s Being Done in Texas to Stop Distracted Driving?
TxDOT has announced that it will soon launch a smartphone game called “Dart Those Distractions” to teach people about the dangers of distracted driving. Perhaps ironically, it has had to urge people to not play the game while they are in a car.
In 2017, TxDOT and safety groups also pushed for legislative updates to further penalize distracted drivers. Reading, writing, and texting while driving has since been punishable with a $200 fine and possible points against the driver’s record.
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Distracted Driving Accident
If you’re ever in a distracted driving accident caused by another driver, then there are a few things you should do to take care of yourself and start your pending injury claim in the right direction.
After a distracted driving accident, you should:
- Call emergency responders if someone has been injured or if a car has been severely damaged.
- Get information from the other driver about their insurance information, ID, and whether or not they were using their phone or were otherwise distracted while driving.
- Talk to passersby who saw the crash and ask them if they noticed the other driver texting just before they hit you.
- Take pictures of the scene with a focus on injuries, vehicular damage, traffic conditions, and potential distractions you notice in the other driver’s car within plain view.
- See a doctor shortly after your accident if you feel relatively fine or accept an ambulance ride to the emergency room if the EMTs believe your injuries are severe.
- Speak with an attorney within a day or two of your accident to let them begin an early investigation into the crash if they think it will help.
If your distracted driving accident happens in Austin, Georgetown, or anywhere in between, then we invite you to contact Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP. Our team of distracted driving accident lawyers is standing by to hear from clients, and to see if we can help them pursue compensation from the distracted driver that hit them.