According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 1 in 5 crashes in Texas involves a distracted driver. In 2017, that accounted for 100,687 crashes, nearly 3,000 serious injuries, and over 440 deaths.
Unfortunately, the prevalent use of cell phones and other mobile devices has made driving even more dangerous. But distracted driving doesn’t just involve technology. From eating behind the wheel to changing the radio station, inappropriate driving behaviors can easily result in a distracted driving accident that can cause serious injury or even a wrongful death.
Whether driving on a city street or highway, distracted drivers can be a serious threat to you and your loved ones. If you have been the victim of a distracted driving accident caused by another party’s negligent behavior, then turn to Ramos James Law, PLLC, for the support and legal protection you deserve. During this dark time in your life, let Ramos James Law, PLLC, be the light that shines through.
What is Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving, including:
- Talking or texting on your phone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to other people in the car
- Adjusting the radio
- Using a navigation system
- Any type of grooming
- Reaching for items on the floor or in the seats behind you
Getting behind the wheel requires a driver’s full attention. Any activity that takes your attention away from driving and focusing on the road ahead can lead to a tragedy.
Common Car Accidents Caused by Distracted Drivers
A driver traveling at 55 mph, who takes their eyes off the road for 5 seconds, travels the length of an entire football field without being aware of their surroundings. This type of negligent behavior can lead to:
Rear-end Accidents – Driver fails to stop in time and instead rams into the rear-end of the vehicle in front of them. This can set off a chain reaction in which the victim is pushed into oncoming traffic or into another vehicle in front of it.
Highway Accidents – Distracted driving at high speeds on the highway is a major risk that often leads to head-on collisions, sideswiping accidents, and single vehicle accidents.
Intersection Accidents – Failing to observe traffic lights, stop lights, and intersection traffic, can result in a serious – or even deadly – t-bone crash.
Head-on Collisions – Distracted drivers often drift out of their own lane and veer into oncoming traffic, causing serious, and often fatal, car accidents.
Distracted drivers are much more likely to drive erratically and severely injure an innocent motorist.
Texas Laws Regarding Distracted Driving
In 2017, Texas legislature passed a statewide ban on texting while operating a motor vehicle. Additional laws previously established had already banned cell phone use in school crossing zones and for drivers under the age of 18. Many cities throughout Texas have also passed local ordinances that completely prohibit cell phone use while driving.
Texas laws stipulate:
- Drivers cannot send or receive electronic messages.
- Drivers with learner’s permits are prohibited from using a cell phone in the first six months of driving.
- Drivers under 18-years-old are prohibited from using wireless communication devices.
- In school zones, all drivers are prohibited from texting and using handheld devices when behind the wheel.
Individuals caught using a cell phone while driving may face fines between $200 and $500. If a distracted driver causes an accident, however, they may face common law negligence and other, more serious, penalties.
How Ramos James Law Can Help
At Ramos James Law, PLLC, we believe in clear and open communication. We work diligently to earn your trust. Distracted driving accidents can require additional investigation and our Austin lawyer knows exactly how to get you the most compensation for your injuries. Our staff goes the extra mile by:
- Performing a full and thorough investigation of the collision.
- Requesting and gaining cell phone records of the responsible party.
- Utilizing a support team of medical professionals, engineers, investigators, and accident reconstruction experts, to develop the best case for you.
- Fully evaluating the extent of your injuries.
- Providing a full evaluation of all damages suffered as a result of the accident.
- Assistance with negotiating with insurance companies.
- Taking the case to court.
Ramos James Law can assist you in presenting damages that include but are not limited to:
- Medical bills and future medical care costs
- Lost of income and earning potential
- Mental pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Funeral expenses (in wrongful death claims)
For all your legal needs regarding distracted driving car accidents, depend on Ramos James Law, PLLC. Our Austin lawyer has a decade of providing clients with the dedicated support their situation requires.
Contact us online or by phone at (512) 537-3369 for a free consultation.