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June 7, 2024

Is Texting and Driving as Dangerous as They Say?

Texting while driving has been at the forefront of road safety discussions because it’s regarded as a risky driving behavior comparable to driving under the influence. Injury LawStars focuses on personal injury cases involving motor vehicle accidents. Our law firm is here to help you unpack the risks and consequences associated with texting while driving. By understanding the weight of distracted driving we can demonstrate how Injury LawStars supports accident victims with skillful legal representation.

Texting

Alarming Facts About Texting While Driving

According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is a leading cause of vehicle crashes in the U.S. 

A AAA survey found the majority of drivers (93%) believed texting and driving to be extremely dangerous but more than a third of those drivers (37%) admitted to using their phones while driving over the month prior. 

Studies have shown that using your phone while driving can have the same reaction time as drinking four beers before driving. When you take your eyes off the road, it can take up to 27 seconds to reorient to the road. This hangover effect can occur even while stopped at a traffic light or stop sign.

Accidents Caused By Texting And Driving

Data gathered by the NHTSA in 2021 found that phone use while driving leads to:

  • 12% of distracted driving accidents resulted in deaths
  • 8% of accidents involved distracted driving injury crashes (20,015 total)
  • 8% of non-fatal crashes involved a distracted driver (44,518 total)

Texting and Driving Fatalities

Unfortunately, hundreds of Americans die in accidents involving texting and driving:

  • 410 people in total were killed in 2021 in accidents caused by texting and driving
  • 397 people were killed in 2020 fatal crashes caused by texting and driving
  • There were 644 nonoccupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, and others) killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2021

Tens of thousands of Americans are injured as a direct result of texting and driving each year. If you’re in need of Florida car accident lawyers because you’ve been injured by a texting driver, consider consulting with Injury LawStars. 

Legal Regulations Surrounding Texting While Driving

Forty-nine out of 50 states ban texting and driving. The penalties for texting and driving range from fees to tickets, license suspension, loss, or criminal charges, depending on the severity of the incident. The cost of a ticket for texting and driving varies by state, however, you can expect to pay up to $500 or more if caught. The consequences and causes of car accidents can drastically impact your life. Don’t proceed with an accident claim without speaking with a lawyer. 

Consequences of Texting While Driving

There can be numerous ripples drivers face after texting while driving. Most states levy fines to deter the practice. The specific fines for texting and driving vary by state. In Alaska, texting and driving could come with a year of jail time and a $10,000 fine for a first offense.

Under Florida law, a first texting offense can be punishable by a $30 fine and court fees. A second offense carries a $60 fine, court costs, fees, and three points on a driver’s license. Texting and driving in school or construction zones also carries additional license points.

If you’ve caused an accident while texting and driving, and it results in bodily injury or death, you may face the loss of your license and even criminal charges and jail time. The Injury LawStars is prepared to protect your driving rights if you’ve been wrongfully accused of distracted driving. 

Commercial drivers face harsher penalties for texting while driving. Since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibits texting while driving commercial motor vehicle drivers, doing so leads to sanctions, such as driver disqualification. Texting and driving accidents can have lasting effects on many different parts of your life. 

Texting and Driving and Car Insurance Rates

Car insurance rates are calculated based on risk factors. Drivers with traffic tickets typically pay more. Texting and driving tickets can lead to higher car insurance rates. All drivers have suffered 

higher premiums because of widespread texting and driving because insurers have decided to raise rates because they’re paying out claims. Some estimates found insurance surcharges increased 6% to 8% due to distracted driving behavior.

How Car Accident Lawyers Handle Texting While Driving Cases

A texting-while-driving accident lawyer in Florida can help you by:

  • Providing legal representation
  • Guiding you throughout the legal process 
  • Helping you determine the best course of action
  • Gathering resources and securing evidence 
  • Demonstrating that the other driver was responsible
  • Handling contact with opposing lawyers 
  • Negotiating with insurers

If you want to recover damages after an accident, you are responsible for providing evidence of the other driver’s negligence. Even when it is clear that they were texting and driving just before the accident, the insurance company will likely try to shift responsibility.

In many states the amount of damages you’re entitled to can be reduced by the percentage of fault you hold. The following evidence can be used to justify or deter the amount of damages you’re entitled to after a texting and driving accident: 

  • Driving history and accident records
  • Reports from passengers and eye-witnesses
  • CCTV footage that captures the accident
  • Cell phone footage of the accident
  • Police reports or accident reports
  • Video from a traffic camera

Distracted Driving Accident Damages

If you are hurt in an automobile accident caused by an at-fault driver, you have the right to seek monetary compensation. In a Florida personal injury claim, both economic and non-economic damages can be pursued.

A texting-while-driving lawyer from Injury LawStars can help you pursue the following:

  • Medical expenses for your current and future medical expenses caused by your accident-related injuries
  • Property damage including the cost to repair or replace your vehicle and other damages
  • Lost wages, including the income lost due to time off work for recovery and treating your injuries, and loss of future wages if you’re unable to work or become disabled
  • Pain and suffering damages associated with the initial injury, any subsequent medical procedures, and the time it takes to make a maximum medical recovery
  • Loss of consortium due to a diminished quality of life as a result of an accident

Enlisting the help of a professional attorney could help you to be better prepared for your case, avoid financial hardships for yourself and your loved ones after an accident, and free up space for you to focus on your recovery. 

Tips for Staying Safe and Avoiding Distractions on the Road

Avoiding distractions and driving defensively could help you to avoid the majority of accidents. Here are some tips to remain safe while behind the wheel:

  • Use your cell phone for emergencies only
  • Pull over safely to the right shoulder to make a call if necessary
  • Remember that hands-free devices can cause you to miss important visual and audio information necessary for avoiding an accident
  • Carry social phone conversations out before or after you’re finished driving
  • Avoid drowsy driving because it multiplies the risks of crashing up to four times
  • Pull over or call for assistance when you feel tired and don’t try to get home faster
  • Limit the number of passengers you carry so that you can stay focused on the roads
  • Eat before or after driving because food spills are a major distraction while driving
  • Limit distractions by avoiding multitasking behaviors, like calling friends, searching for music, or texting
  • Focus on the road and other drivers around you
  • Take your time while behind the wheel and avoid rushing
  • Avoid rubbernecking while passing other accidents and remain focused on the road

Talk to Injury LawStars About Your Texting and Driving Accident

All drivers are responsible for the behaviors they implore while behind the wheel. Texting while driving is one of the most hazardous distracted driving habits because of the number of people that commit this blunder every day, the illusion of safety it can provide, and the amount of time drivers spend distracted from the roads. 

Injury LawStars has aided numerous car accident victims by demonstrating how other drivers’ inattentiveness led to accidents. When we’ve done this our firm has successfully obtained large damages on our clients’ behalf.

The legal consequences, dangers, and damages associated with texting while driving can be long-lasting. Doing so may be a reason for paying exorbitant fines or losing your commercial license. Each decision you make behind the wheel of a vehicle could affect whether you or others return home safely that day.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, or if you’ve been falsely accused of distracted driving, the Injury LawStars can provide assistance. Not only is our firm familiar with distracted driving claims, but our lawyers understand how demerit points can harm your driving history and increase your premiums, how accident injuries can have lasting impacts, and what it takes to win these types of claims. If you’re in need of a car accident attorney in Florida, contact us today for a free initial consultation to discuss your accident.