Every day, more than 1,000 Americans are injured in crashes reportedly caused by distracted drivers. In 2016 alone, distracted driving accidents were responsible for the deaths of 3,450 people. Despite efforts like the Texas ban on texting and other written communication while driving, it continues to be a major cause of accidents. On this page, we’ll discuss exactly what distracted driving is, how to avoid its risks, and how victims can get in touch with a Houston personal injury lawyer.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving refers to any situation in which a driver’s focus is diverted enough to impair driving ability. Distractions can be visual, manual, or cognitive, and it may include things like the following:

  • Using a handheld phone
  • “Gawking” at an accident
  • Daydreaming
  • Taking hands off the wheel
  • Eating or drinking
  • Texting, applying makeup, and other complex tasks

 

Texting While Driving

You’re probably well aware of campaigns emphasizing the dangers of texting and driving, and it’s with good reason that these exist. Texting is a combination of visual, manual, and cognitive distractions that take significant attention off the road. At 55 mph, five seconds spent typing or reading a text is enough time to go the length of an entire football field. A lot can happen in those 160 ft.

 

Who Faces the Greatest Risk?

Sadly, the drivers who appear to be at the greatest risk with regard to distracted driving are our nation’s teens and young adults. According to 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 showed the highest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of a fatal accident. Drivers aged 16-24 accounted for 4.6% of driver handheld cell phone use and 4.9% of visible handheld device manipulation.

 

How to Prevent Distraction While Driving

The following tips can help protect you and your loved ones from distraction:

  • Leave your phone in your purse, trunk, or another location where you won’t be tempted to use it while driving.
  • If you absolutely must take calls, invest in a hands-free device or a vehicle with built-in call answering capabilities.
  • Let people know that you won’t be able to text while driving. If they know not to expect a response, you won’t feel pressured to give one.
  • Likewise, don’t call or text people who might be driving.
  • Keep your vehicle tidy and free of clutter to reduce sources of distraction.

 

Hurt in a Distracted Driving Accident? Call Us for a Free Consultation

Victims of accidents caused by distracted drivers have the right to be compensated. Whether you need money to cover medical bills, lost income, or other losses, it’s time to get the help you deserve from an experienced car accident lawyer. At Johnson Garcia LLP, we’re proud to have 25 years of combined experience representing victims just like you. If you’re ready to get started, call (832) 844-6700 to request a free consultation.