Distracted driving is always a serious problem and occurs anytime a driver’s attention is taken away from the act of driving. Our attorneys at Springer & Lyle are committed to helping those who may have been injured in one of the nearly 110,000 crashes that occur annually in Texas due to distracted driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identifies three categories of distracted driving:
- Visual. Taking your eyes off the road.
- Manual. Taking your hands off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive. Taking your mind off your driving.
Using a cell phone for talking,dialing, or sending or receiving a text involves all three types of distracted driving. In the entire state of Texas, texting while driving is illegal. A Denton, Texas, ordinance makes it illegal to use a cell-phone for any reason unless you have a hands-free device for talking. Violation of the ordinance can result in a fine of up to $500.
Distracted Driving is Worse During the Holiday Season
Approximately one-third of Americans travel during the holiday season. This means more people on the road, often driving during inclement weather in order to make it to their holiday destination without delay.
People are busier than ever, shopping, driving to holiday parties, thinking about how to pay for all the gifts they have bought or will buy, and often using their cell phones to check in with other family members or friends.
Holiday activities in general increase stress and fatigue, all of which contribute to distracted driving. People on their way to a holiday event may be grooming themselves as they drive.They adjust their holiday music on their radio or streaming device and read maps or look at their GPS directions. All activities involve taking take their mind off driving as well as their eyes off the road and hands off of the wheel.
A survey of 3,000 drivers concerning their driving activities between November 18, 2017, and January 3, 2018, found that cell phone usage increased by 33 percent. Although Thanksgiving showed the most activity, the distracted driving due to the use of cell phones still dramatically increased on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
In Texas, insurance claims increase by 20 percent during this holiday time and the insurance companies blame distracted driving. Christmas Eve is the most dangerous time, with claims increasing by 22 percent for accidents occurring on that day.
The personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you obtain reasonable compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other physical damage. Contact us at 940.387.0404 for a free consultation.