Distracted driving car accidents have become a concerning issue on America's roadways. Many drivers have become increasingly reliant on technology and multitasking. That's why thousands of people lose their lives each year on our nation's roads and highways. The consequences of these accidents can range from minor injuries to life-altering tragedies.
The San Antonio car accident attorneys at The Herrera Law Firm have seen far too often the devastation caused by distracted drivers. We've witnessed lives turned upside down because drivers couldn't keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
How common is distracted driving in Texas?
Distractions are a major problem on Texas roads. So much so that the state was ranked 8th among the states with the most distracted driving accidents. According to the United States Automobile Association, a 14% rate of Texas distracted driving accidents happened within the first half of 2023. That's above the national average of 12.1%.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were nearly 4,500 traffic fatalities across the state in 2021. Distracted driving caused approximately 426 of those deaths. That accounts for an 18.16% increase in distracted driving deaths from the previous year.
What are the 3 categories of distracted driving?
There are generally three types of driving distractions. These include:
- Visual distractions, such as texting or using a mobile phone, looking at GPS or navigation systems, or gazing at external objects.
- Manual distractions, such as manipulating electronic devices, eating and drinking, and applying makeup or self-grooming:
- Cognitive distractions, such as daydreaming, conversations with passengers, stress and emotional distress, and multitasking.
Among these three categories of distracted driving, texting while driving is often considered the most dangerous as it involves all three simultaneously. When you text behind the wheel, you take your eyes off the road (visual distraction), your hands off the steering wheel (manual distraction), and your mind off the task of driving (cognitive distraction).
How does distracted driving cause car accidents?
Distracted driving impairs a driver's ability to focus on the road, make quick decisions, and react to changing traffic conditions. Here's how:
- Reduced attention to the road: A driver's attention gets diverted away from the primary task of driving. They may not notice traffic signals, road signs, pedestrians, cyclists, or other vehicles nearby.
- Delayed reaction time: Distracted drivers often have delayed reaction times. For example, they may suddenly realize they need to brake due to slowing traffic or an obstacle in the road. Their delayed reaction can result in a collision because they didn't respond quickly enough to avoid the hazard.
- Impaired decision-making: Distractions can disrupt a driver's ability to make good decisions. They may misjudge the speed of other vehicles, underestimate the time it takes to stop, or make incorrect lane changes.
- Inability to maintain lane position: When drivers take their eyes off the road or their hands off the steering wheel, they may drift out of their lane, increasing the risk of collisions with adjacent vehicles. Head-on collisions are a common result of distracted drivers crossing over the center line.
- Decreased peripheral vision: Some distractions involve looking down at a device. This makes it difficult for drivers to see what's happening in their peripheral vision.
Seeking compensation after being hit by a distracted driver
Distracted driving is a dangerous behavior that puts countless lives at risk on the road. If you've been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. At The Herrera Law Firm, our experienced San Antonio car accident lawyers are here to help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more about how we can help with your potential legal case, contact us online to schedule a free consultation.