Recently, a black pickup truck ran headlong into the back of a parked 18-wheeler, on the access road on West Loop 1604. The semi-truck had been waiting for a client to unload inventory when the pickup struck the truck, wedging itself under the trailer. The driver of the pickup later died from his injuries, though the truck driver was unharmed. Law enforcement believes that the pickup driver was “speeding and distracted,” and thus was the prime mover in causing the accident. While the truck driver was unharmed, this is often not the case in distracted driving accidents. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation from them.
Everyone gets distracted for small moments behind the wheel. However, distracted driving is a real danger to everyone on the road, because when a person’s attention is diverted away from operating their vehicle, it means that they have less time to react to other motorists or obstacles on the road, which in turn leads to higher fatality and injury rates. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimates that one in five crashes in Texas involve distracted driving, with the corresponding rise in casualties.
By far the most commonly seen distracting activity while driving is texting, as it takes one’s attention off the road for an average of 5 seconds. If someone is driving 55 miles per hour, that means that their attention is off the road for the average length of a football field. That said, there are many other types of distractions that can endanger one’s own passengers or other cars around you, including talking to passengers, adjusting the radio or other music player, eating, applying makeup, or rubbernecking at something outside the car.
If You Are Injured
Distracted driving is a type of negligence, which means that there are certain criteria that must be shown in order to establish that the defendant may be liable for your injuries. Every motorist has an obligation to exercise reasonable care toward the other motorists on the road, and a failure to do so goes a long way toward establishing a prima facie case of negligence, as long as you can also show that no other intervening cause played a role in your injuries.
Keep in mind that drivers in Texas cannot, by law, send any kind of message with a handheld device while they are driving – they must stop their vehicle in order to do so – but as of this writing, there is no statewide ban on talking on the phone while driving. Many cities have enforced hands-free laws, including Austin and San Antonio, but currently, the state of Texas has not. If you can show that the driver who injured you was using their cellphone in an unlawful way, it may be used as further evidence to help establish the driver’s negligence.
Call A New Braunfels Distracted Driving Attorney
While the pickup driver on West Loop 1604 was sadly pronounced deceased after sustaining his injuries, you may be better off after your own distracted driving incident. If you have been injured by the negligent distraction of another person, calling a skilled New Braunfels distracted driving attorney from the Bettersworth Law Firm can go a long way toward getting your questions answered and your case handled appropriately. Contact our offices at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.