According to the Texas Department of Transportation, car accidents caused by cell phone use qualify as a concept known as “distracted driving.” In Texas, there were more than 100,000 accidents caused by distracted driving. Out of those accidents, there were 444 deaths and close to 3,000 serious injuries.
Because of the serious risk involved in car accidents caused by cell phone use, Texas passed a law that became effective on September 1, 2017. This law makes it illegal for drivers to read, write, or send a text message while they’re driving.
Car Accidents Caused by Cell Phone Use: Who’s at Fault?
Generally speaking, when a driver is on their cell phone and they’re involved in a car accident in Texas, they will likely be assigned most of the fault for the accident. Not only were they involved in a form of distracted driving, they broke Texas law if they were texting and driving.
Why Is Driving with a Cell Phone So Dangerous?
A common remark made by adults and adolescents alike when it comes to cell phones and driving is that they don’t believe that anything can happen to them because their eyes were only off the road for “a second.” Yet that “second” is often several seconds or minutes. The driver is often unaware of the amount of time that passes. That’s how car accidents are caused by cell phones. When you’re using your cell phone and driving you:
- Are only driving with one hand on the wheel. There are also some very scary instances where the driver tried to control their vehicle with their knee and used their phone with both hands.
- Aren’t looking at the road because you’re reading a text, sending a text, dialing a phone number, or on social media websites.
When a driver fails to devote their full time and attention to the road, they put themselves, their passengers, and everyone around them in danger. You could run a stoplight or a stop sign. You may not notice a sudden stop in traffic or another car pull out in front of you. You may not see a child dart out into the street as they chase their ball or puppy.
What Should You Do If You’re Involved in a Car Accident Caused by Cell Phone Use?
When you’re hurt in a car accident caused by cell phone use, you’ve been hurt because of another person’s negligence. The first thing you should do is call the police. Of course, you may not initially know that the other driver was using their cell phone. However, the police will investigate and file a report. If you witnessed the other person on their cell phone before the car accident occurred, make sure that you tell the police.
Next, document the scene if you don’t need emergency medical attention. Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles, the road, and even a photo to document the weather. Then, even if you don’t think you’re seriously hurt, see a doctor. Minor injuries can get worse if you don’t. Internal injuries sometimes don’t present with symptoms. Seeing a doctor in a timely manner can also help protect your potential legal claim.