Few would disagree that being a careful driver could cut down on car crashes. Not everyone appears to understand what the word “careful” entails. Someone who always uses turn signals, drives within the speed limit and never succumbs to road rage exhibits good behavior on Texas roads, but that same driver might send text messages while behind the wheel. Such behavior represents a common type of negligence: distracted driving.
Distracted driving puts everyone at risk
Distracted driving increases the chances of car wrecks because the driver’s attention drifts away from where it belongs. A driver that takes eyes off the road might crash into a pole or hit another car or a pedestrian. And visual distractions aren’t the only ones that may cause harm, as listening too intently to a podcast could result in missing a safety alert from the vehicle’s tech system.
Removing hands from the wheel also increases the potential for a collision. Eating and drinking, combing hair, or putting fingers on a touchscreen leaves only one hand on the wheel, which is not the safest practice. Also, the hand and mind might go together. The mind may focus on a touchscreen when the hands engage the apps.
Don’t assume a brief distraction is “okay,” either. Rubbernecking proves hard to resist, but quickly checking an accident or watching the police write a ticket may result in a rear-end crash or worse. Imagine hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk while looking sideways while driving.
Distracted driving means negligent driving
A driver more interested in conversing with a passenger or switching to a new satellite radio channel than looking at traffic could cause a wreck. Distracted drivers might learn a hard legal fact after causing a collision: they could face a negligence claim.
Not following the law and ignoring safe driving practices may lead to legal troubles after a crash. A negligent driver that inflicts harm and financial losses might face consequences, including civil claims.
Victims of distracted driving accidents could file an insurance claim. An insurance or lawsuit settlement might help a victim recover losses after a wreck.