Texting While Driving Accidents

Texting While Driving: Oklahoma Accident Attorney

Distracted driving at its simplest is driving without paying full attention to the task of safe driving. There are many types of distraction, including eating, checking maps, talking to other passengers, adjusting the stereo, daydreaming, and anything else which removes your eyes from the road, your hands from the wheel, or your mind from the task at hand.

Although there are virtually endless types of distracted driving, one of the fastest growing and most dangerous types of distracted driving is texting while driving.

Texting and driving accidents can be particularly devastating. Because the texting driver does not see the looming danger, there may be little to no evasive action taken. These types of accidents may occur head-on and at full speed, causing catastrophic injury to those involved.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a texting and driving accident, or if someone you love has been killed in a fatal texting accident, compensation may be available for injuries, losses, and associated damages. Contact an auto accident lawyer in Oklahoma to learn more about a personal injury claim.

Why is texting while driving so dangerous?

As mentioned earlier, distracted driving involves one or more of three distinct types of distraction:

  • Manual distraction During manual distraction, a driver removes one or both hands from the steering wheel of the vehicle. This may include reaching for something in the car, digging into one's purse or briefcase, eating, adjusting the radio or stereo volume, or picking up a cell phone.
  • Visual distraction During visual distraction, a driver removes his or her eyes from the surrounding roadway. Visual distraction may occur if a driver attempts to read a map or GPS device, looks at passengers in the car, rubbernecks an accident, looks at a billboard or other external distraction, or looks at a mobile device to dial a number or read a message.
  • Cognitive distraction Cognitive distraction occurs when a driver's mind is focused on anything other than the task of driving. The most frequent type of cognitive distraction - and in fact, the leading cause of distracted driving - is daydreaming. If you are thinking about your daily to-do list, replaying an argument in your mind, or concentrating on a conversation with passengers or on a cell phone, you are likely distracted from giving driving your full attention.

Each of these types of distraction increases the likelihood of an accident, but when they occur in combination, the probability of an accident increases dramatically. Because texting while driving involves all three types of distraction, it is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving.

How big of a problem is texting while driving?

Many people feel that they are able to safely balance driving responsibilities with cell phone or mobile device use. They think that they are more skilled at texting while driving than other drivers and severely overestimate their abilities while underestimating the level of distraction. That combination is a recipe for disaster.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at distraction.gov, thousands of people are killed each year in accidents involving cell phone use, and hundreds of thousands are injured. In 2013, there were 3,154 people killed and 424,000 people injured in distracted driving accidents.

Distraction-affected crashes accounted for 10 percent of all fatal accidents and 18 percent of all injury accidents that year. Of these fatal accidents, cell phone use was the key factor in 14 percent of all crashes and fatalities.

Another frightening statistic reported by the NHTSA is the frequency of cell phone related distracted driving. At any given minute during daylight hours , 660,000 drivers are using a cell phone or manipulating an electronic device. Considering that the average text takes a driver's eyes off the road long enough for a vehicle to travel the distance of a football field, that is scary news, indeed.

Unfortunately, texting while driving remains a common form of distracted driving, and most texting drivers underestimate the risks. In fact, driving behaviors while texting mimic driving behaviors of drunk drivers, and both types of driving are exceedingly dangerous.

What do I do if I have been hurt in a texting and driving accident?

Texting accidents can lead to devastating injuries and death. Financial compensation may be available through an accident injury lawsuit. Although every case is unique, common types of damages awarded include medical expenses, long term care and rehabilitation, lost wages or lost earning potential, pain and suffering, property damage, funeral and burial expenses, and more. Contact an Oklahoma injury lawyer to schedule a free consultation to discuss your texting while driving claim.

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