The Dangers of Distracted Driving in Corpus Christi

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Modern society places a lot of demands on our attention. Push notifications, text messages, social media platforms, and online shopping all aim to shift our focus onto them, convincing us that we can multi-task with some level of efficiency. Driving, however, is one part of our lives that demands 100% of our attention every single time. The problem has become so prevalent that distracted driving, in all its forms, is the leading cause of motor vehicle accidents in Texas and throughout the United States.

Anytime a driver is focused on a task other than safe driving, they are unable to effectively respond or react to any unexpected traffic conditions to prevent an accident. As a result, roughly eight people are killed daily in car accidents caused by distracted drivers. 

If a distracted driver caused your Texas car accident, reach out to the experienced Corpus Christi car accident lawyers at The Edwards Law Firm. We can help you prove liability, hold the at-fault driver accountable for your damages, and seek maximum compensation on your behalf. 

Distracted Driving Defined

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is anything that takes your focus off the task of safe driving. Unfortunately, drivers routinely engage in superfluous tasks, such as texting, making phone calls, programming the GPS, drinking, eating, and tending to their children, while behind the wheel. In addition to these, there are also “hidden distractions” like engaging with passengers and listening to loud music, as well as mental distractions such as daydreaming and stress, all of which can interfere with a person’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. 

Three Types of Distracted Driving

As previously mentioned, distracted driving is more than just sending a quick text message while driving. A report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that distracted driving comes in three distinct forms:

  • Visual distractions: Any activity that takes your eyes off the road
  • Manual distractions: Any activity that takes your hands off the steering wheel
  • Cognitive distractions: Any activity that takes your mind off of safe driving

One common visual distraction is rubbernecking. As drivers take their eyes off the road in front of them to gawk at a car accident or emergency activity on the side of the road, they seem wholly unaware that in doing so, they risk causing another accident.  

If an activity causes you to take one or both hands off of the steering wheel, it’s a manual distraction. These include smoking, eating, and, possibly the most dangerous of all, reaching for an object on the floor or in the backseat. Cognitive distractions include listening to any type of media, such as podcasts or music, worrying about a past or future event, and even arguing with a passenger. A distraction’s risk is directly proportional to the amount of attention it requires, so using a cell phone while driving is uniquely dangerous in that it combines all three forms of distracted driving into one potentially catastrophic swipe. 

Accidents caused by distracted drivers claim the lives of about 3,000 victims every year while leaving well over 300,000 facing some degree of injury.  

Texas Distracted Driving Statistics

The problem of distracted driving is ubiquitous across Texas, which recently ranked 8th in the country for accidents caused by drivers who were not paying attention. While the national average for distracted driving accidents was 12.1% in 2023, Texas’ average was 14%. In 2019, Texas witnessed 561,582 motor vehicle collisions, 17% of which, including 378 fatalities, were the result of distracted driving.  

Texas Statutes and Penalties for Distracted Driving

Besides being dangerous, distracted driving is against the law in Texas. In September 2017, a statewide ban was placed on distracted driving in an effort to prevent motorists from writing, reading, and using mobile devices while behind the wheel.

Although drivers are permitted to use cell phones to report crimes and make emergency calls, the penalty for violating the state’s texting and driving laws pursuant to Texas H.B. Bill No. 62 is a citation and a fine.

First-time offenders are fined $99 and any subsequent violations are fined at $200. While incarceration is rarely a punishment for texting and driving, if an accident should cause severe injury or death, the distracted driver could face up to a year in jail and fines upwards of $4,000.  

The Edwards Law Firm

Distracted driving accidents can lead to severe and permanent injuries that will have a profound effect on a victim’s life. The experienced Corpus Christi car accident lawyers at the Edwards Law Firm have been successfully litigating serious motor vehicle accident cases since 1962, such as the $3 million settlement we secured for the victim of a negligent driver who was left with debilitating back injuries. 

If you were injured in a car accident that you suspect was caused by a distracted driver, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys by calling (361) 320-6752 or by filling out the contact form on our website. We serve clients throughout the Texas Gulf Coast region. 

Note: The accident news posts provided on The Edwards Law Firm website are intended for informational purposes only. These posts are created using secondary sources and may not always reflect the most current or accurate information regarding accidents or legal matters. If you find any information in these posts to be inaccurate, please contact our firm so that we can correct it as soon as possible. We are committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information, and we will promptly address any discrepancies brought to our attention. Additionally, we will remove a post upon request.

Disclaimer: This post is not a business solicitation. It's important to note that these posts do not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. Individual cases vary, and legal outcomes depend on specific circumstances. For personalized legal advice, please contact The Edwards Law Firm directly. By accessing our accident news posts, you acknowledge and agree to the terms of this disclaimer.

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