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Texting and Driving: A Dangerous Cocktail

man texting on cell phone while operating a vehicle

Nobody likes to admit it, but we’re all guilty of it: texting and driving. At the very least, most of us check or pick up our phones while driving. A survey conducted in 2021 revealed that the most common situations in which people engaged in texting while they drive include the need to tell someone (a family member) some important information, to tell someone that they would be arriving somewhere, to reply to someone, for work, or, to send a change of plans.

In addition, most drivers who engage in texting while driving report that they only do so when they feel confident that they can engage in the two activities at one time. Specifically, 20% of drivers aged from 18-20 stated that texting does not affect their driving while 30% of drivers from the ages of 21-30 stated that texting does not affect their driving.

In reality, humans have slow reaction times the more that their brains are distracted from their present activity. Sadly, in 2018, about 400,000 people were injured as a result of a distracted driver. In addition, statistics show that people from 16 years old to 24 years old are the most likely to use their phones while they are driving.

driver is distracted with cell phone held by passanger

Different types of Distractions

There are three main kinds of distractions that texting and driving could present:

  1. Visual Distraction: a distraction that requires you to look away from the road in order to obtain information somewhere else
  2. Manual distraction: a distraction that requires you to take your hand off the steering wheel in order to do another task or to touch something else besides the wheel
  3. Cognitive distraction: a distraction that diverts your attention from driving and forces you to focus on something else entirely.

Texting and Driving vs. Drunk Driving

 While we are all familiar with the age-old tale that buzzed driving is drunk driving, a recent study published by the CDC shows that while drunk driving continues to be an issue on the road, and makes up for about 10,000 deaths a year, texting and driving is growing at an alarming rate, while in 2019 making up for 3,142 deaths of motorists. As our electronics rapidly evolve and advance, they become more and more of a distraction to drivers. In addition, with social media so rapidly available at our fingertips, it is difficult for drivers to resist the urge to pick up their devices. This can be scary as the average time it takes someone to send a text message is about 5 seconds. Traveling at 55mph, which is on the “slow” side if you were to be traveling on the freeway, would allow you to cover the length of a football field in 5 seconds. With your eyes off the road for that long, an accident can very easily occur, seriously injuring yourself or others.

In addition, there is even information to suggest that texting while driving may be more dangerous than drinking and driving as the reaction times from texting can be slower than someone who is driving under the influence of alcohol. In any case, the rapid and alarming rate at which drivers who feel comfortable using their cellphones while driving is growing, the number of fatalities attributed to texting and driving is growing each and every year.

Hands-Free is Not Risk-Free

To help keep up with modern society and the need to be “connected” at all times, many vehicles and devices now offer “hands-free” options where users can use features such as “talk to text” in order to avoid having to use their hands to engage with their electronic devices.

According to a study conducted by AAA, even when using hands-free options, drivers have slower reaction times, compromised brain function, and miss visual cues on the road, all due to the powerful mental distraction they engage in while using “talk to text”. With many cars now equipped with devices like apple play or android connect, it’s easy to see how easy it can be to become distracted by the text you need to send.

In addition, a study conducted by Texas A&M Transportation Institute revealed that “text to talk” technology provided absolutely no benefit over manual texting, meaning that whether there is a manual or cognitive distraction, the dangers are all the same, and can be just as fatal.

State Law

Only recently have states began to crack down on drivers who are distracted. For Example, In California and Nevada, you will be issued a ticket for having an electronic device in your hand at any time. However, you are still allowed to use these devices hands-free.

While distracted driving is something that is on the sharp incline, so is the number of people who are affected by these accidents. Oftentimes, we are all too familiar with the stresses of being involved in an accident and having to go through the arduous path of recovering from our injuries, or, even worse for the loss of our loved ones. This is where the skill of an experienced personal injury attorney would be able to come in.

The attorneys at Heidari Law Group would be able to talk to you about recovery options should you find yourself the victim in a car crash where the other driver was texting and driving at the time of the accident.

If you or someone you know has been injured following, or as a result of being involved in a car accident, whether the other driver was distracted while texting or not, The Heidari Law Group can help you at every step of your case. With offices in Fresno, California, Sacramento, California, Los Angeles, California, Irvine, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada, the Heidari Law Group has qualified auto accident attorneys who are experts in recovering damages for pain and suffering due to car accidents.

Regardless of whether you’ve been in a car accident in California or Nevada, the Heidari Law Group is able to assist you at every step of your recovery process and ensure that you are equipped with all the tools that you need in order to receive fair compensation. Reach out to our offices and call for a free case evaluation today!

***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.

Sam Heidari

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Sam Heidari

Sam Ryan Heidari

Sam Heidari is the founding principal of Heidari Law Group, a law firm specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, and employment law with offices in California and Nevada. Sam Heidari has been practicing law for over 11 years and handles a wide range of cases including car accidents, wrongful death, employment discrimination, and product liability. The Heidari Law Group legal firm is known for its comprehensive approach, handling cases from initial consultation through to final judgment. Sam Heidari is dedicated to community involvement and advocacy for civil liberties.

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