Distracted Driving Attorney San Antonio
The dangers of distracted driving have become increasingly prevalent nationwide. The Texas Department of Transportation relays that one in five Texas car crashes involve distracted driving. Because we all share the road with distracted drivers, you need to learn the telltale signs of distracted driving, to refrain from driving distracted yourself, and to—above all else—stay safe out there.
Texas was late to the distracted driving party— not until September 1, 2017, did it enact a statewide ban on texting and driving. This Texas law is primary, which means that police can stop you for texting (even if you committed no other driving infraction). Though many states ban handheld devices while driving, Texas only bans them for drivers in school crossing zones. Whatever the law, however, it’s always safest to put your phone down and concentrate on the task at hand—driving safely.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you need experienced legal counsel. The car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of George Salinas in San Antonio are here to help guide your claim toward just compensation.
Distracted driving has become such a problem that the U.S. government has a website dedicated to the issue. Distracted driving is characterized as driving when your attention is focused on anything other than driving. Distractions are divided into three classifications:
- Manual distractions - which involve your hands, including holding your phone
- Visual distractions - which involve your vision, including looking at your phone
- Cognitive distractions - which involve your thought processes, including engaging with your phone
The act of texting is especially dangerous because it manages to incorporate all three forms of distraction into one succinct act.
While smartphone usage factors heavily in distracted driving accidents, cell phones are far from the only distraction endangering our roads. When you get behind the wheel, take a moment to plan your route and prepare yourself to take on the daunting responsibility of driving before you turn the key. A moment of preparation can help you avoid other common driver distractions:
- Reading maps or directions
- Fiddling with your GPS
- Fussing with your radio
- Applying hand lotion, lip balm, or makeup
- Fixing your hair or any other grooming activity
- Looking into your rearview mirror for anything other than driving purposes
- Bending over and picking things up off the floor mat
- Interacting with your kids in the backseat
These are but a few of the ways you can drive distracted, and there are plenty more. Taking a few moments to prepare for your trip before you head out can help keep our roads safer for everyone.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Distracted driving is always dangerous driving. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attribute nine traffic fatalities and 1,000 traffic injuries to distracted driving every day. According to TextingAndDrivingSafety.com, things get even more dire from here:
- You are 23 times more likely to be in an accident if you text and drive.
- You are nearly three times more likely to be in an accident if you dial while driving.
- You are about 30 percent more likely to be in an accident if you chat on your phone while driving.
Furthermore, if you travel at a speed of 55 miles per hour as you interface with your smartphone—which takes your eyes off the road for at least five full seconds—you’ll drive blind for the entire length of a football field. That’s frightening.
Technology and Distracted Driving
Technology isn’t only a culprit in the distracted driving epidemic—it’s also helping to come up with solutions to the problem. New phones have built-in modes that allow users to choose not to be disturbed by their phones while they drive. One complicating factor, however, is that once you engage the service, your phone will sense when you’re driving via a car's movement—and thus can’t distinguish between you as a driver and you as a passenger.
Once your phone determines that you’re driving (or you alert your phone to the fact), it will automatically silence all distracting notifications, and your favorite contacts will receive an I’m driving notification. The bedeviling distractions of our smartphones only seem to multiply, but technology also plays an important role in implementing safety mechanisms that can help mitigate driving distractions.
Be on the Lookout for Distracted Drivers
Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers, and they’re all around us on the roads. Several telltale signs reveal that a driver is dangerously distracted:
- Drivers who drift in and out of their driving lanes
- Drivers who ignore traffic signs and signals
- Drivers who are obviously engaging with their phones
- Drivers who drive erratically
If you witness a dangerously distracted driver, give that vehicle plenty of room on the road. If you believe the driver is endangering others, alert the authorities. You could help save a life.
Kick the Distraction Habit
The best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe on the road is to kick the distraction habit yourself. The law takes distracted driving seriously, and so should you. You already know that your beloved smartphone and driving simply can’t mix safely. Take the next step, and kick your distracted driving habit by making it your policy to drive sans phone. Who knows? You may even set a good example for the teenagers in your life (who are especially prone to dangerously distracted driving).
If You Were Injured by a Distracted Driver, Contact a Skilled San Antonio Car Accident Attorney
If another driver’s distraction caused your car accident injury, the skilled car accident lawyers at The Law Offices of George Salinas are here to help. We have the experience and dedication to fight for your rights and for your rightful compensation. Please contact or call us at (210) 225-0909 to schedule an appointment today.
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