Cell Phone Use Causing Car Accidents
Berenson Injury Law opened our doors close to 40 years ago with the sole focus on auto accident recovery. At that time, cell phones did not exist. Today more than 330 million Americans own a cell phone, or more than one per person in the United States, and they use them everywhere. The ubiquitous use of phones expands to the driver’s seat. On average, a driver spends about 3.5 minutes per hour of drive time on the phone. Considering that a two-second distraction can increase likelihood of an accident by 20 percent, this statistic reflects the enormous impact cell phones have on traffic safety.
3,477 people died and 391,000 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2015. Simply putting the phone away could reduce that number substantially. That is why our Fort Worth auto accident attorney is a strong advocate for reducing driving distractions and has pushed for legislation that restricts cell phone use while driving.
If you were injured by a distracted driver, we hold the negligent driver accountable and pursue the maximum possible compensation for your injuries. You may be entitled to punitive damages based upon the driver’s egregious conduct, which allows you the opportunity to recover more money.Why Are Cell Phones Dangerous
Distractions can be visual, manual or cognitive. Cell phones require all three types of attention as drivers take their eyes off the road, hands off the steering wheel and mind off of the task of driving. Drivers may attempt to minimize the risks by using a hands-free device, however studies show that doing so is not much safer than using a handheld phone. In addition to talking, drivers use smart phones to text, surf the net, take selfies, video and play games. All of these activities are impossible to do so safely while driving.Investigating Cell Phone Distractions of At-Fault Drivers
Berenson Injury Law thoroughly investigates accidents to determine the cause and fault. First, based upon our years’ of experience, we recognize the telltale signs of distracted driving, including lane drift and failure to brake. If the vehicle contains a black box recording, we can analyze data on steering, braking and erratic actions that indicate distraction. We may also subpoena phone records to review phone activity in the moments leading up to the crash.Cell Phone Laws in Texas
Disobeying the law is prima facie evidence of liability, meaning the distracted driver is likely responsible for the accident unless she can prove otherwise. Texas law only prohibits use of handheld phones by novice drivers and for all drivers in school zones. Adults are otherwise legally allowed to talk on the phone.
Texting while driving finally became illegal in September 2017 after a long fought battle by safety advocates. However, close to 100 Texas cities have passed ordinances that place stricter regulations on texting, use of electronic devices and use of cell phones. The stricter of the state or local law prevails. The fact that the driver did not realize the law was more prohibitive or that she was entering another county is not a valid defense.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also imposes regulations on use of handheld phones on commercial truck drivers, but allows hands-free phones as long as the trucker does not have to push more than one button or maneuver out of his seat to grab the phone. The FMCSA prohibits texting and using electronic devices while operating a tractor-trailer. Our auto accident lawyer knows these laws inside and out and use them to our clients’ advantage.Recover Damages After a Dallas-Fort Worth Distracted Driving Crash
Schedule a free consultation with Berenson Injury Law to discuss your right to recover from a driver whose cell phone distraction caused your crash injuries. Our Dallas-Fort Worth injury firm handles your cell phone accident claim on contingency, so pursuing your rights is risk-free.