CDC report: distracted drivers kill nine people each day
Like just about every other driver in these frantic times, Texas drivers commonly multitask while behind the wheel. During their daily commutes, drivers routinely take calls or respond to text messages. Although such drivers may be commended on their responsiveness, they put themselves at a much greater risk of having a car accident by doing so.
Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may now make Texas motorists think twice before placing a call or sending a text message while on the road. A recent report from the agency found that about nine people die each day in accidents where distracted driving was a factor in the United States. Additionally, distracted driving related accidents injure about 1,060 people every 24 hours.
In all, the CDC’s report found that the danger that distracted driving poses to motorists each day is likely getting worse. The report found that distracted drivers killed an estimated 3,267 people in 2010. This number increased to 3,331 one year later. Furthermore, the CDC believes that the actual number of fatalities is likely higher. The statistics come from police accident reports and often rely on the truthfulness of the driver in admitting that he or she was distracted just before the accident. As many drivers may not admit to engaging in distracted behavior, this number is likely much lower than it actually is.
The CDC’s report found that 69 percent of drivers nationwide admitted to placing a call on a cellphone while driving within the prior 30 days. In addition, about 31 percent confessed to using a cellphone to send a text message while behind the wheel. From these statistics, it is clear that motorists on the nation’s roads continually face the threat of being hit by a distracted driver.
Distracted driving in Texas
In responding to the threat of distracted drivers, many state legislatures have passed laws banning certain distracting activities while behind the wheel. Although there have been some attempts in the past at banning cellphone use and texting while driving, both remain legal under Texas law for most drivers. However, Texas law has recognized the special danger that texting and cellphone use poses to younger drivers by banning both activities for drivers that have just received their licenses.
Despite the fact that texting or cellphone use remains legal for most drivers in the Lone Star State, if a driver injures or kills another because they were distracted, he or she may be held accountable for negligence. Under the law, the injured driver may seek damages for medical bills, lost wages and other damages resulting from the accident. If the driver dies as a result of other driver’s negligence, compensation may be sought in a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident by a distracted driver, it is vital to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can work to ensure that you receive fair and adequate compensation for your losses.