Austin Injury Lawyer States Texting While Driving Is Becoming The Leading Cause Of Deaths In America
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 12, 2013 – Taking your eyes off the road to text can lead to a deadly crash. That is a no brainer.
When cellphone or smartphone users take their eyes off the road to text, they are driving blind for at least 4.6 seconds or longer. While it may not sound like a long time, it is enough to have the car drift off in a different direction and wind up in an accident. Whether the texter lives or dies depends on how fast the vehicles involved in the wreck were travelling. Texting while behind the wheel of a vehicle increases the chance of a collision by 23 percent.
It is not just phone use in the vehicle that holds the potential to kill. It is reaching for moving objects that get away on the driver, such as a cellphone landing under the seat, a loose purse on the floor, or crying kids. “Park it. Deal with it while stopped. Reading is another leading cause of death by texting, as in reading incoming texts, checking a Facebook status or checking for spelling errors before hitting send. It may be the last time you get a chance to check spelling, ever. Leave it until later to reply,” said Bobby Lee, an Austin injury lawyer with Lee, Gober & Reyna.
Distracted driving also comes in the form of oogling events and other things going on outside the car. Rubberneckers at accident scenes tend to get into collisions themselves. Applying makeup or shaving while driving (yes, it has happened) are also two actions that may be accomplished at home. “Interested in seeing a graphic outlining distracted driving issues? Go here,” suggested Lee.
The top ten distractions, posted by Insurance Hotline are, from top to bottom, beginning with number one, cellphone use, drinking/eating while driving, adjusting the radio, smoking, reading/replying to texts, personal grooming, attending to a baby or child, talking, adjusting car controls, and external distractions. It goes without saying that driving while under the influence of a mobile phone, hands-free or handheld, impairs a driver’s reaction time as much as being .08.
Alarmingly though, virtually 77 percent of teens (but this also applies to adults) figure they can drive safely while checking in with their social media and texting. Accident statistics tell another story, but it seems like no one is really getting the point.
“To get a better idea of what is really happening out there on America’s roadways today, you need to be aware that 11 percent of drivers are actually talking on their cells as you read this sentence. Over 2,600 deaths each year are caused by drivers using mobile devices,” explained Lee. In 2011 alone, more than 3,000 people died in distracted driving collisions. Leaving the deaths out of the equation, accidents caused by distracted driving that resulted in minor and serious injuries, every year, hit 570,000.
Whatever happened to common sense? Think twice before texting or checking social media. It CAN wait.
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
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