At the Nava Law Group, our auto accident attorneys in Houston see the impact distracted driving has on our communities every day. Unfortunately, multiple types of distractions can take a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind away from the task of operating a motor vehicle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed over 3,140 lives throughout the U.S. last year. Nearly 12% of the country’s traffic collision fatalities occurred on our Texas roadways.
To help improve the safety in our neighborhoods, on our city streets, and on interstates, we have compiled a list of the ways distracted driving can cause serious collisions, so you can avoid them.
Cellphones. Cellphones. And Cellphones.
Even though texting while driving was outlawed in Texas in 2017, it is not uncommon to pass another driver who is looking down, directly at their phone, while driving 65 miles per hour in Houston. We all see it every day.
The obvious danger is that the driver is not paying attention to where they are going but looking at their phone instead. The reality is, cellphone use behind the wheel creates the same delayed reaction as driving under the influence of alcohol.
All drivers should avoid cellphone use behind the wheel to help prevent accidents that could take someone’s life, including their own.
In Car Electronics.
With the expansive onboard entertainment and GPS options in many vehicles, drivers are busy changing radio stations, listening to podcasts, adjusting devices for their children’s amusement, or looking for directions or traffic delays while they drive.
Making even the slightest adjustments to onboard electronics can take your eyes away from the road or cause you to lose focus, which can lead to a tragic accident without notice.
Whether it is small children, adult family members, or friends, passengers can become one of the most common causes of accidents while you are on the road.
Turning to talk to passengers, becoming distracted by conversations, looking in your review mirror to talk to your kids, or reaching behind you to interact with another rider is incredibly dangerous because it takes your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel.
Be sure everyone has everything they need before you put the car in drive and explain that it is important to focus on the road to minimize distractions.
The good news is, when you have passengers onboard, they can adjust the radio, assist with the kids, and help identify potentially dangerous drivers before an accident occurs.
Eating While Driving.
Many drivers grab coffee or food on their way to and from destinations out of convenience and is so common most do not think twice about what a distraction it can be.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration sees it differently and estimates that eating while driving — which takes both your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel — increases the likelihood of a crash by 80%.
If you must eat while you drive, take bites or sips while at a stoplight, or while stopped in traffic.
Distracted Driving Puts Everyone at Risk
Distracted drivers are a danger to more than just other motorists. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are placed in significant danger when a distracted driver is traveling nearby, even when they are following all traffic signs, signals, and rules of the road.
When someone is looking down at their phone, adjusting their GPS, looking at their passengers, or eating, they can hit someone crossing the street, swerve into a bike lane, or hit a motorcyclist from behind causing significant injuries or even death.
If you or someone you love has had their lives changed by a negligent driver in Texas, our Houston personal injury attorney Mark Levin would like to discuss your recovery needs during a free consultation.
Contact the Nava Law Group today by calling 713-218-2400 to discuss the details of your injuries or loss to learn how we can help investigate your case during a free consultation.