We've all been there. Your phone is ringing; you're holding your coffee, desperate to wake up; you're looking for a house in the middle of a thunderstorm. Unfortunately, you're also behind the wheel of a car.
You've probably given your attention to a few of these things—even just for a moment—while driving. But it only takes a second to cause a crash.
Engaging in any type of non driving-related activity while operating a vehicle is known as distracted driving, and it's responsible for about 20 percent of all vehicle crashes per year. Anything that demands a driver's primary focus—such as texting or reading—can divert the driver's attention just long enough to increase the likelihood of a crash.
Common Causes of Distracted Driving
- Passengers demanding the driver's attention,
- Cell phone dialing,
- Eating and drinking,
- Handling/programming GPS devices,
- Diverted attention to music or radio,
- Looking for an address while driving,
- Children or pets in the back seat,
- Unnecessary tasks, such as applying makeup or making a list.
It should be easy to tell who's at fault in a distracted driving case, right? As it turns out, the laws governing distracted drivers aren't completely straightforward.
It Is Illegal for Minors to Use Electronic Devices While Driving in Texas
Under Texas state law, drivers under the age of 18 are forbidden to use any electronic devices while driving, including hands-free devices. This law is an effort to control teenage driver crash rates, a leading cause of Texas car crashes. Also, all drivers are forbidden to use handheld electronic devices in school zones (including bus drivers) to reduce the rates of traffic crashes involving children. So far, these are the only laws concerning electronic devices and driving, meaning a driver who causes a collision may contest his fault, since it wasn't illegal for him to use his cell phone while driving.
If You've Been in a Crash with a Distracted Driver, We Can Help
Even if cell phone use is still legal, causing bodily harm to those around you is not, and it carries consequences. If you have been involved in a car crash with a distracted driver anywhere throughout the Dallas Fort Worth region, the circumstances surrounding your injury could mean special compensation for your loss. Call The Hart Law Firm today at 817-380-4888 for trusted legal advice from a board-certified Texas personal injury attorney.