Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers in Austin
Distracted Driving Crash Attorneys Serving Austin, Waco and Surrounding Areas
Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents in the state of Texas and throughout the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a full 20 percent of crashes involving injuries and 16 percent of fatal crashes are related to distracted driving. When drivers are distracted, they may fail to observe other drivers on the road. They may not react quickly enough or may break driving rules such as failure to yield or running a light.
Regardless of the specific cause of the accident, if a driver’s distraction led to a crash, that driver could be held responsible for the injuries that result. If you were hurt in a distracted driving accident, contact the experienced Texas personal injury lawyers at The Bob Richardson Law Firm today for a free consultation. Call us toll free at 800-880-5100 or use our online form. We won’t charge for our services unless we recover for you.
Causes of Distracted Driving Accidents in Texas
There are a number of types of distracted driving that can cause accidents, including:
- Hanging up or dialing a cell phone
- Talking on a cell phone
- Text messaging
- Interacting with other occupants of the vehicle
- Adjusting the radio, CD player or vehicle controls
- Retrieving an object from the floor or elsewhere in the car
- Eating, drinking or smoking
- Reading a map, directions or a newspaper
- Shaving, putting on makeup or other grooming activities
Cell phones and text messaging, however, are some of the main causes of distracted driving. This is especially true among those ages 30 to 39, who the NHTSA indicates had the highest proportion of cell phone involvement in fatal crashes.
Texas Laws on Distracted Driving
While some types of distracted driving can be difficult to legislate against, laws have been passed to address both driving while on a cell phone and texting while driving.
Under Texas law:
- Drivers age 18 and under are prohibited from the use of wireless communication devices while driving.
- Those with learner’s permits are prohibited from using handheld cell phones during the first 12 months that they are driving.
- Operators of school buses may not use cell phones while driving if there are children present.
- Drivers who are in school crossing zones are prohibited from using handheld wireless communication devices.
Laws related to cell phone and wireless device use in Texas are found in Section 545.425 of the Texas Code. Texas, however, does not have a statewide ban on texting for all drivers. While such a ban was proposed in HB 242 and approved by the House and Senate, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed it in 2011. Many cities and counties have instituted their own bans, including Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Amarillo, among others.
Recovering Compensation After a Texas Distracted Driving Accident
When a driver violates a state or local law related to distracted driving, he or she may be considered negligent per se if an accident occurs. That is a legal rule that someone can be assumed to be negligent without a plaintiff having to specifically prove negligence if the individual was violating a safety law. This means that if you were involved in an accident and someone was violating a safety law, it may be easier for you to recover compensation.
When a driver was not violating a traffic law, you still could be able to obtain compensation from that driver if he or she was distracted and caused an accident that injured you. You can use common law negligence rules in such cases. You must prove that the other driver caused the accident by acting below the standard of care that a hypothetical reasonable driver would have shown.
Getting Help for a Texas Distracted Driving Accident
Our experienced Texas personal injury lawyers can help you understand how to pursue compensation after a Texas driving accident. This could include payments for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages.
Contact the Texas personal injury lawyers at The Bob Richardson Law Firm today for a free consultation. Call us now toll-free at 800-880-5100 or use our online contact form.
For more than 30 years, we have helped car accident victims in Austin, Waco and the surrounding Texas communities of Round Rock, Georgetown, Killeen, Temple, Cedar Park, Lakeway, Taylor and Belton. Let us put our experience to work for you.