Texting While Driving Often Leads to Fatal Auto Accidents
Although drunk driving tends to get most of the attention, distracted driving is rapidly becoming a more significant threat to public health and safety. The ubiquity of smartphones makes it far too easy for a driver to divert their attention from the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day there are 1,161 injuries and 8 fatalities in the United States due to a distracted driver.
Texas May Soon Follow Connecticut’s Lead on Distracted Driving
Texting while driving is one of the main causes of distracted driving accidents. This issue recently gained nationwide attention after a tragic accident in Texas. A pickup truck collided with a Church bus, resulting in the death of 13 people. According to news reports, the truck driver was texting at the time of the accident.
Shortly after this incident, Texas legislators moved quickly to enact a statewide ban on texting while driving. The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill in March. The state Senate is poised to approve a similar bill after some members dropped their earlier opposition to the idea. Legislators actually passed a ban back in 2011, but then-Gov. Rick Perry, now the U.S. energy secretary, vetoed the legislation.
Texas is actually unusual in that it is one of just four states that does not already ban texting while driving. Connecticut law prohibits texting or using a handheld cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. It is permissible for drivers who are at least 18 years old to use a mobile phone with a hands-free device, speakerphone, or headset. Drivers younger than 18 may not use a phone at all while driving.
Have You Been the Victim of Distracted Driving?
In addition to potential fines if caught texting while driving by the police, when distracted driving of any type leads to an auto accident, the victim may seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Distracted driving is negligent driving, and if the plaintiff can prove the defendant was looking at his phone and not the road, a jury is likely to hold the defendant accountable.
If you have been in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it is important to speak with a qualified CT & RI personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Polito & Harrington LLC today if you have been in an auto accident in Connecticut or Rhode Island and need to schedule a consultation right away.