Articles Posted in Distracted driving

dreamstime_xs_33822870-300x254So Who’s Causing The Avalanche of Accidents?

Teenagers? No, it’s their older brothers and sisters, the millennials. The largest generation of Americans between the ages of 19 and 35 are our worst drivers.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety just released a troubling report that reveals that almost all admit that they exceed the speed limit by 10-15 m.p.h., run red lights, text while driving, and drive under the influence of alcohol or marijuana on a regular basis.

Great, 75 million of the most dangerous drivers in America are driving next to us. Talk about accidents waiting to happen!

This helps explain why we have a whopping 80,000 collisions each year in Tarrant and Dallas Counties. A paralegal got stuck behind one involving an 18-wheeler and four other vehicles this morning that shut down I-20. It’s routine but shouldn’t be.

The epidemic of collisions keeps rising, despite the constant warnings about the dangers of texting while driving and speeding. You see PSAs and signs all the time on television, social media, highway signs, and billboards. But many young drivers don’t think dangerous driving is wrong.

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Statewide Prohibition To Finally Be Enacted By Legislature?Texting-while-driving-Arlington-lawyer-300x194

Two veteran Texas lawmakers are again introducing legislation to ban texting while driving statewide.

What should be a no-brainer bill has never been signed into law, even though it was passed in two different sessions before being vetoed by the governor.

State Representative Tom Craddick, a Republican from Midland, and State Senator Judith Zaffirini, a Democrat from Laredo, have each filed new bills in the state legislature that is meeting in Austin that would ban texting while driving.

Mr. Craddick believes that Governor Greg Abbott wants to see all cities in Texas enforcing a unified law and may not veto the law this time. The former Speaker of the House is passionate about this attempt: “I am committed to giving our Texas drivers safer roads; I am determined to be a voice for the distracted driving victims and families of victims; and I am extremely motivated to enact legislation that will prevent any loss of life.”

Mr. Craddick points to the almost 500 Texans who died last year due to drivers texting and explains other reasons why texting should be outlawed here.

Texas is one of only four states without a full texting ban, although we recognize how lethal it is by banning new drivers under the age of 18, all school bus drivers, and all drivers near schools from doing so.

As a result of the lack of state action, almost 100 cities have had to pass their own municipal ordinances banning texting while driving. It’s impossible to know as you drive around from one city to the next where it’s legal and where it’s not, so here’s a list that will help you.

Six North Texas cities that ban texting: 

  • Arlington
  • Denton
  • Farmers Branch
  • Grand Prairie
  • Rowlett
  • White Settlement
  • Stephenville and Maypearl (further south of DFW)

Seven North Texas cities that require hands-free devices:

  • Argyle
  • Bedford
  • Denton
  • Hurst
  • Little Elm
  • Midlothian
  • Watauga

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https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/01/Screen-Shot-2017-01-04-at-12.18.56-PM-300x226.pngTwo Texas-Based Lawsuits Attempt Uphill Battle

Texting from behind the wheel has reached epidemic proportions, with 53% of drivers admitting to this dangerous practice in a recent poll.

Don’t think this is a problem? More than 35,000 drivers died in 2015 in collisions, a huge 10 1/2 percent rise over the year before. And the alarming 2016 number is predicted to be 14% higher by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.

Still don’t think this affects you? The chances of dying in a crash in the U.S. are 1.3% — the highest rate in the industrialized world. By comparison, this rate is over six times that in Norway and Sweden, which have snowy/icy road conditions much of the year.

We know that rampant cell phone use is often responsible for automobile “accidents” in America. Many countries ban texting while driving and fine offenders heavily.

So what about holding the companies and carriers creating this epidemic accountable? Just like other corporations, should Apple, Samsung, AT&T and Verizon be held responsible for the damages caused by their products and services?

This is the argument at least two families have made to achieve justice after losing loved ones in distracted driving accidents. Families of these victims have filed products liability lawsuits against Apple claiming the corporation was negligent in selling a product it knew would be used while driving and cause injury to others.

Two women killed and young boy paralyzed by texting driver

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IMG_1554I was in Dallas yesterday attending the board of directors meeting of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. This is a vital organization that protects the rights of injured people and I am proud to be a part of this worthwhile group.

After learning the latest information about car wrecks and injuries and helping people fight to recoup their damages, as I was leaving the hotel downtown, I saw this cab with warnings to other drivers. Its driver was texting. At the next stop, I snapped this photo — yes, on my cell phone.

But your chance of being in a collision using your cell phone increase by the following: 12 times if dialing, six times if texting, and five times if reaching for the phone. All over North Texas, people are getting crashed into and injured by drivers who never saw them. We injury lawyers hear this all the time.

But it’s somehow legal to do this in Texas unless these few restrictions apply:

  1. You are under 18 years old,
  2. You have been driving less than six months, or
  3. You are driving in a school zone

Texas is one of only four states in the U.S. that still allows full cell phone use and texting while driving.

No wonder we have so many auto collisions. There were 100,000 collisions in 2014 caused by distracted driving — and presumably more if drivers would admit that they were surfing the net as they drove.

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cell-phone-modeWhen we get on an airplane, we hear the announcement to switch our phones to airplane mode. We do it, right?

So what if when we started our vehicles, we heard the same announcement?

We’d presumably turn the phone off.

A new software program called “Driver mode” will do that for us.

It’s about time that cell phones make us drive more safely and reduce our shocking number of crashes. Continue reading

imagesWant to see who can snap a selfie while driving the fastest? Or chase cartoon characters across Texas? OK, just download an application and put the pedal to the metal.

This is just another reason why there are so many auto and truck collisions here.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has cited drivers using apps as a major factor in the biggest spike in traffic fatalities in a half century.

During the past 50 years, innovations have drastically improved car and roadway safety — thanks in part to the legal crusaders Clarence Ditlow, and Ralph Nader and their Center for Auto Safety that I blogged about yesterday. Seat belts, air bags, improved body design, increased corporate accountability — and yes, lawsuits — drove the steady decline in highway fatalities. Then everything changed.

2015 was previously named the worst year for traffic accidents in five decades. And it looks like 2016 will far outdo even that deadly year, based on the first 6 months. 17,775 people were killed in traffic accidents during the first half of 2016. This number does not include the July 4th, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve and the Christmas holiday season, when alcohol related accidents skyrocket.

Texas leads the United States in the number of traffic deaths each year.

Is any one paying attention?

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She couldn’t see it because she was sexting with her shirt over her face.

This happened near the A & M campus late Thursday night. A 19-year-old freshman was charged with driving while intoxicated, having an open bottle of wine in her vehicle, and being a minor in possession.

She told the police officer she was sending the selfie to her boyfriend. As she was driving.

Here’s a photo from the scene.

I guess girls just want to have fun.

But as I often have to ask, what is going on out there?

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teens-speeding_0Why do 20% of new teenage drivers cause a car wreck within the first six months of driving?

Their rampant alcohol, drug, and cell phone use and other distractions added to their inexperience make the odds they crash into you rise dramatically.

The National Teen Driver Safety Week ends tomorrow. Its theme of Five to Drive addresses the five major causes of teens causing and getting hurt in accidents:

  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Being distracted by passengers
  • Not wearing seat belts

Sadly, automobile accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers in the United States.A whopping 2,679 teens died and 123,000 were injured in car wrecks just in 2014.

Avoiding these five problems will reduce these tragic statistics dramatically. Continue reading

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The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has just announced Road to Zero, a coalition dedicated to eliminating traffic deaths. I support this plan wholeheartedly.

The NHTSA has committed $3 million to support auto safety organizations over the next three years. The coalition of organizations will work together on innovative approaches to saving lives.

A similar program in Sweden reduced deaths from only seven in 100,000 to only three in 100,000 in just 15 years.

Let’s hope we get the same results. Our highways are death traps. Continue reading

dreamstime_xs_41654287But Anti-Texting Lockout is Not on the New iPhone

We’ve just learned that Apple has the technology to save lives — more than 3,000 lives every year.

How? Apple has the technology to shut down its cell phones while people are driving.

The iPhone Lockout invention came to light as part of a products liability case in which the family of distracted driving victims accused Apple of knowingly selling a dangerous device. The products liability claim is unlikely to succeed. But the case has brought this important new technology to the forefront and posed the question of whether tech companies can and should do more. Continue reading

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