Inattentive driving can lead to deadly car accidents. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that every day 1,000 crashes occur because of a distracted driver. Doing other activities while driving takes away not only your awareness, but also lessens your motor control.
Most people believe that multi-tasking while driving is harmless. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that distracted drivers are just as likely to cause a crash as intoxicated drivers. If the crash results in an injury, you may be saddled with medical costs because of another’s negligence.
If you were recently hit by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation.
Attorney for Distracted Driving Accidents in Conroe, TX
All drivers have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and to stay attentive to the road. Distracted drivers aren’t only being irresponsible but put others at risk because of their actions. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver find help with Evans & Powell, PLLC.
The attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC are passionate about representing victims of distracted driving. We have years of experience and are well-versed in Texas civil law. Our attorneys can evaluate your case to see if you’re eligible for compensation. Don’t hesitate any longer. Call the attorneys at (713) 622 - 2000.
Evans & Powell, PLLC accepts clients throughout the greater 9th District Court including Patton Village, Cut and Shoot, Houston, Conroe, and Willis.
Overview of Distracted Drivers in Texas
- Research Involving Distracted Drivers
- Texas Texting and Driving Laws
- Can I Prove My Driver was Distracted?
- Tips to Avoid Distracted Drivers
- Additional Resources
Research Involving Distracted Drivers
You may hear some say that they are good “multi-taskers” while they drive. Unfortunately, research states this isn’t true. NHTSA researchers studied brain activity of distracted drivers versus attentive drivers. They found that talking on the cellphone, even if it’s hands-free, takes up 39 percent of energy that is normally devoted to safe driving.
It isn’t just cellphones that can take up brain activity. Other distractions such as eating, changing the radio station or talking to passengers can also affect your attentiveness. All of these distractions are dangerous as they can slow perception and delay decision making.
Research indicates that there are three types of distraction which include:
- Mental Distractions – Activities that take your mind from the road are mental distractions. Some examples include talking to a passenger or daydreaming at the wheel.
- Physical Distractions – Anything that causes your hands to leave the wheel or eyes to stray from the road is a physical distraction. Some examples include reaching for an object, changing the radio station or eating.
- Mental and Physical Distractions – Most people do both mental and physical distractions. Many activates require both physical movement and mental focus while on the road. Some examples include sending or reading text messages.
Texas Texting Laws
Texas is one of the many U.S. states that have barred texting and driving. On September 1, 2017, Texas implemented their new texting-while-driving-ban. This law prohibits motorists from reading, writing or sending text messages or other electronic messages while driving.
Texting drivers will now face a fine punishable up to $99 for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $200. The only exceptions to this law are emergency electronic messaging when the vehicle is stopped. It’s important to note that some cities have additional ordinances that are more restrictive for driving and texting.
Minors are banned from using a cellphone at all while driving. The only exception is if the phone is hand’s free or it’s an emergency situation. Alongside this, drivers who are school bus operators are prohibited from using their phones while driving if children are on the bus.
Can I Prove the Driver Was Distracted?
Motorists are expected to follow and respect traffic laws. Drivers who are knowingly inattentive are putting the general public at risk. If the driver is texting, then they are also breaking a state law. If you wish to file a claim against a distracted driver that has injured you, you must collect compelling evidence.
When filing a claim, the legal standard to win is by a preponderance of the evidence. This means the plaintiff’s evidence must have more weight than the defendant. Unlike a criminal trial, the plaintiff doesn’t have to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the plaintiff must give evidence that proves more likely than not their side is correct.
To prove a driver was distracted, the plaintiff must collect compelling evidence. Some types of compelling evidence include, but are not limited to:
- Testifying witnesses;
- Photographs from the accident;
- Driver’s admission of guilt;
- Surveillance videos of the accident;
- Previous citations for texting and driving;
- Police reports with cell phone use in the details; and
- Cell phone records that show the defendant was texting or on the phone
If the plaintiff is successful, he or she will get an award or a settlement. The court will assess the damages and appropriate the amount of compensation granted to the plaintiff. Victims of negligence may be able to pursue compensation for the following:
- Medical costs;
- Rehabilitation costs;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Loss of consortium;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Tips to Avoid Distracted Drivers
The road can be a dangerous place. It’s important that you’re not only vigilant of the road, but also other drivers. Not recognizing distracted drivers in time can lead to a serious car accident. You must know the signs of a distracted driver to avoid any potential injuries.
Some common signs of a distracted driver include, but are not limited to:
- Swerving vehicles;
- Vehicles that move at inconsistent speeds;
- Vehicles blasting music;
- Drivers holding objects such as food, cell phones or cigarettes; and
- Drivers that appear to be in deep conversation.
Distracted Driving – Visit the official website for the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) and learn more about distracted driving. Find more information about the different types of distracted drivers, the legal consequences and future plans by NHTSA to reduce distracted driving.
11 Facts About Texting and Driving – Visit the official website for DoSomething.org, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire others to make long-lasting positive impact on the world. The article lists 11 facts, data and statistics about texting and driving.
Lawyer for Distracted Driving in Montgomery County, Texas
If you were injured because of a distracted driver, you could possibly be entitled to a settlement. Do what is best for you and contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A skilled personal injury attorney can evaluate your case to see if you’re eligible for compensation.
Evans & Powell, PLLC is a group of experienced attorneys who are passionate about their clients. We do whatever is in our power to get what you deserve. Our attorneys will sit down with you, assess your case and come up with a legal plan. We will battle for your recovery and inform you every step of the way.
Get ahead now with Evans & Powell, PLLC and call (713) 622 - 2000. Evans & Powell, PLLC accept clients throughout the 9th District Court including Panorama, Cut and Shoot, Willis, and Conroe.
This article was last updated on February 13th, 2019.