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Texting while driving accidents can be more devastating than drunk driving accidents because the texting driver is not paying attention to the road. Instead of braking too slowly or too late, the texting driver is likely not to stop the car at all.
Most people are guilty of the new DWI, Driving while “Intexicated.” At least 47% of us admit it.
It is a dangerous habit that we, as drivers, have developed and texting while driving accidents are on the rise.
It is actually banned in 39 states and D.C.
In 2011, 23% of auto collisions involved cell phones. That is 1.3 million crashes that involved cell phones. 5 seconds is the MINIMIAL amount of time your attention is taken away from the road when you are texting and driving. If you are traveling at 55 mile per hour, this equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road.
Text messaging makes a crash up to 23 times more likely to occur. Dialing the phone makes a crash 2.8 times more likely, talking or listening makes a crash 1.3 times more likely, and reaching for the device makes a crash 1.4 times more likely.
Studies have actually shown that texting while driving is MORE dangerous than drinking and driving. When someone is drunk behind a wheel their response time is slower than a sober person, but they are at least trying to drive properly and have their eyes on the road. When someone is texting, they do not even have their eyes on the road! Reaction time when reading or sending an email or texting will actually be slower than if someone is intoxicated.
So, we think “I will just wait until a red light to text.” Well, this is not safe either. Stalling to text could lead to rear end crashes, if other drivers notice the light turn green first. Also, once the light turns green your mind and your eyes are still on the text or email and not on the road. So texting while driving accidents can even be caused by a driver stopped at a red light.
As adults, we must set a good example for teen drivers and not text and drive. According to 77 percent of teens, adults tell them not to text or email while driving, and yet adults do it themselves all the time.
What are some ways to help prevent yourself from texting and driving? One of the most helpful ways to prevent texting while driving is to put your phone in the backseat on silent mode. You can designate a texter if you are driving with friends or family. Someone else can read and respond to the texts for you. If you have a smart phone, you can download an app that will help you quit texting and driving. One app is the AT&T Drivemode app and it is free and lets you set up auto-replies that are sent to incoming texts, emails and calls.
If you have been involved in a car crash, and the person who hit you was using their phone, call our law office to get a free case evaluation. Our Austin personal injury lawyers can help you with your medical bills from injuries sustained in the car crash, lost wages, and property damage.