What Is Distracted Driving?

Seen from the back seat, a male driver is focused on his phone and doesn’t notice that the vehicle in front of him has come to a sudden stop.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving accidents have plagued roadways at increasing rates. Multiple programs aimed at educating young drivers and eliminating phone usage hope to end this devastating trend.

At Pierce Skrabanek, we have years of experience advocating for the rights of injury victims. We believe it is important for members of the community to stay informed on distracted driving and its causes, and that those who are impacted by distracted drivers get full justice and compensation for their injuries. Reach us for representation using our online contact form or by calling (832) 690-7000.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Distracted Driving Accident?

Distracted driving claims involve economic and non-economic compensation. While every distracted driving accident is different, most injury victims can recover the following damages:

  • Total compensation for medical expenses
  • Lost income if you are unable to work
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Emotional distress

You may also be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one lost their life due to a fatal distracted driving accident.

What Is Defined as Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes a person’s attention away from the task of driving. Legally, most types of distracted driving are prohibited and subject to penalty.

Despite the illegal nature, distracted driving statistics show a worrying pattern:

  • Distracted driving is the second-leading cause of traffic accidents in the state
  • In the last reporting year, distracted drivers killed 364 people and injured more than 2,200 others
  • Smartphone use is a contributing factor in 20% of fatal crashes

The offices of Pierce Skrabanek are headquartered in Houston, which according to an article in Texas Monthly, is currently leading the country in distracted driving accidents (right next to Dallas).

What Are The 4 Types of Distractions While Driving?

The four main types of distractions while driving involve:

  • Visual distractions like digging in the console for an item
  • Auditory distractions such as kids fighting in the back seat
  • Manual distractions like adjusting the lid of a drive-thru coffee cup
  • Cognitive distractions such as mentally replaying an incident at work on the way home

While these actions seem minor, they are unsafe when operating an automobile.

Most drivers considered themselves to be safe while using their phones, even though cell phone usage is the primary cause of driver distraction.

What Causes Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving can be caused by cell phone usage, interacting with passengers, checking the GPS, and more. However, listing common causes does little illustrate the reality of distracted driving.

AT&T sought to shed light on the primary cause of distracted driving and commissioned legendary German film director, Werner Herzog, to make a short film. “It Can Wait” captured the raw and painful side of distracted driving, noting the horrific contrast between tragic collisions and frivolous text messages. Herzog remarked that the “catastrophic accidents when these young people were texting, every single message that was sent while they were driving is utterly trivial, in every single case.

His sentiment is further seen when scrolling the news:

  • Melissa Grace, age 14, and Starla Lindley, age 11, were killed on impact in March 2018. The driver who struck them was using a Chick-fil-A app on her phone.
  • In June 2021, a pickup driver was looking at his phone when he ran a red light in San Antonio, critically injuring the other vehicle’s occupant.
  • Thirteen people lost their lives when a pickup truck crashed into their church minibus in 2017. The driver had been sending a text message at the time of the accident.

Cell phone usage is the primary cause of driver distraction, with 60% of drivers admitting to using their phones during their commute. Surprisingly, most drivers considered themselves to be safe while using their phones.

Is Distracted Driving Negligence?

Yes, distracted driving is negligence. Motorists have a duty to drive safely on the roads shared with other vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. When motorists fail in that duty by allowing a text message or passenger to distract them, the consequences can be devastating.

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries in a distracted driving collision, the car accident attorneys of Pierce Skrabanek are dedicated to helping you recover the full compensation you deserve. Our award-winning litigation team is highly accomplished in personal injury law. We excel at handling complex cases, using our vast experience and collective resources to obtain the highest results possible for our clients.

Schedule a free consultation today to discuss the details of your accident and your best course of action moving forward. You can contact our attorneys by clicking here or calling (832) 690-7000.

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