Texting while driving dramatically increases the risk of a car accident, studies find

Posted
by John Chapman

A Utah mother recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit regarding the death of her 15-year old son who was killed when hit by a truck driven by a man the police say was texting at the time. This is just one more example of a growing problem. Texting while driving is quickly becoming one of the country’s top killers. Drivers assume they can handle texting while driving and remain safe, but the numbers don’t lie. The folks at textinganddrivingsafety.com report the following texting and driving statistics:

Texting While Driving Causes:

  • 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
  • 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
  • 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY – Ins. Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts
  • Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents

Texting While Driving Is:

  • About 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated
  • The same as driving after 4 beers – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
  • The number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers

Texting While Driving:

  • Makes you 23X more likely to crash – National Hwy Transportation Safety Admin.
  • Is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time – VA. Tech Transportation Institute
  • Takes place by 800,000 drivers at any given time across the country
  • Slows your brake reaction speed by 18% – HumanFactors & Ergonomics Society
  • Leads to a 400% increase with eyes off the road

Many states are enacting laws—such as banning texting while driving—or using graduated driver licensing systems for teen drivers to help raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to keep it from occurring. In 2009, President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting federal employees from texting while driving on government business or with government equipment. In 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a ban that prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving.

When deciding to ban texting for operators of commercial vehicles, the US Department of Transportation analyzed the impact of texting:

Texting drivers took their eyes off the forward roadway for an average of 4.6 seconds during the 6-second interval surrounding a safety-critical event. At 55 mph (or 80.7 feet per second), this equates to a driver traveling 371 feet, the approximate length of a football field, including the end zones, without looking at the roadway. At 65 mph (or 95.3 feet per second), the driver would have traveled approximately 439 feet without looking at the roadway. This clearly creates a significant risk to the safe operation of the CMV.

HO&P and Auto Accident Lawsuits

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have tried dozens of auto accident cases for our clients, and we have settled hundreds more. In fact, our attorneys have achieved jury verdicts and settlements totaling more than $75 million for our clients involved in auto, bus and truck accidents over the last few years.

What makes Heygood, Orr & Pearson different? Our lawyers approach every case with the assumption it will be tried to a jury. Whether it’s hiring the right experts, obtaining the necessary records, interviewing the key witnesses or helping our clients get the medical care they need, our meticulous attention to detail ensures that our clients achieve maximum value for their claim.

In addition, Heygood, Orr & Pearson is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical rating available from the leading law firm rating service. Our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are additionally Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our partners been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*

If you or someone you know has been injured or if you lost a loved one in a car accident, you need an experienced and knowledgeable law firm that can guide you through the legal process and obtain maximum compensation on your behalf. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights.

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Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2013.