Articles Tagged with Distracted Driving

Teenager texting and drivingDistracted driving must be stopped

It is shocking that every day over 1,000 Americans are injured and nine lives are lost due to distracted driving collisions. To combat this horrendous problem, the National Safety Council uses April to try to prevent one of the top three causes of the ridiculously car wreck high fatality rate in the U.S. My law firm supports safety organizations like End DD and tries to promote awareness about how we can stop easily preventable car crashes from happening.

It’s hard to believe how people don’t hesitate to drive 65 mph while looking away from the road and down at their cell phones, often texting while driving. Or fiddling with the dashboard computer, eating and drinking, putting on makeup, or looking behind them at passengers. Or all of the above.

There are over one million people driving at any one time talking and paying more attention to their Facebook news feed than to the drivers around them.

This is an urgent problem, as the reaction time for a distracted driver is like someone’s who is legally intoxicated.

But most people are addicted to their cell phones. The result? We all have to take our already dangerous roads for granted.

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New Law Not Working

The number of injuries and deaths caused by distracted driving in Texas keeps increasing every year.

It’s the new normal. We take it for granted. But this is a serious mistake we are making.

We at Berenson Injury Law were hopeful when Texas finally became one of the last states to adopt an anti-texting while driving law last year. But unfortunately that hasn’t stopped — or even slowed — this deadly problem on our roads.

The Texas Department of Transportation reported a shocking increase of 20% of distracted driving crashes last year.

Those collisions were responsible for at least 450 of the more than 3,721 people who sadly perished on our roads.

And there’s good reason to believe that this number is far higher, as it is often impossible to know exactly what caused a car crash.

Even before the new state-wide texting while driving law was finally passed, this was such a vital issue to public safety that 100 cities had already enacted statutes to prevent their residents.

It’s also made drivers far less likely to admit they were texting before the accident. They know it’s illegal and no one wants to take the blame for an accident; especially if they are responsible for another person’s serious injuries or death.

There’s also the issue of single driver accidents. A car might run off the road because of a deer . . . or be distracted by an incoming text. If there aren’t any witnesses, it’s often a matter of taking the driver’s word about what happened.

If the accident ends in a fatality, law enforcement officers never know what caused the wreck, so the numbers are artificially lowered and we are not as afraid to text as we blissfully drive on roads at 65 or more miles per hour.

We talk about this alarming topic a lot on our site because this is a problem that needs to stop.

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Who can watch the road with all this to see and do? 

Dashboards can do everything these days. Search for the latest tune on Spotify? Check. Know the latest NFL score? Of course.

Distracted Driving

But encourage you to order dinner? General Motors just added an application that allows drivers to place restaurant orders while driving. GM is launching the Marketplace app in millions of its new models so millions of hungry drivers can study menus as they drive at 70 MPH.

Just as unnerving, the driver can also book a hotel on Priceline or peruse shopping sites on this new app.

Of course internet connectivity can help improve safety if used responsibly. Instead of looking at a map, you can keep your eyes on the road while listening to voice-activated GPS directions. If you’re in a car accident in a remote area, your Wi-Fi could be a God send to get help more quickly.

But bad driving is already out of control in North Texas. We all see drivers not looking at the road and weaving into our lanes. Playing with these apps is unnecessary and dangerous. Shame on GM and the other auto makers for allowing them on dashboards. They should be illegal.

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