If you live in Texas, you have probably seen the signs on the road and commercials on TV for Heads Up Texas. This campaign seeks to educate Texans and raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. The most common example of distracted driving is texting or using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle, but there are many other examples. Some research indicates that even having a conversation with a hands-free device or eating while driving can increase your chances of having an accident.
It seems like we have been hearing about distracted driving for years now. Yet, this practice still causes significant damage on Texas roads. In 2018, 18% of all accidents in Texas were due in part to a distracted driver. Nearly 400 people died in 2018 alone after a distracted driving accident.
What impact does distracted driving have after an accident?
Distracted driving is a huge factor in personal injury claims after an accident. Texas is an at-fault state, which means that the authorities determine what percentage of responsibility each driver has for the accident. Actions like texting while driving or using a cell phone for navigation or directions can provide evidence that you were the driver at fault for the accident.
On the other hand, if you get hit by an individual engaging in distracted driving, that is important evidence to bring to the attention of your attorney or the insurance company representatives handling your case.
What can you do to decrease distracted driving?
Do not let distracted driving cause you to make a mistake. A few things you can do to decrease the risks of distracted driving are:
- Keep your phone in your bag or in the backseat while driving
- Set up “do not disturb” settings on your device (if possible)
- Pull over in a safe location if you need to communicate with someone immediately
- Load navigation instructions before the car is moving and pull over in a safe location if your route needs to change
Keep your head up and your eyes on the road for a safer Texas driving experience.