Texting While Driving: How Dangerous is It?

Everyone knows that drunk driving is dangerous. According to the NHTSA, over 10,000 people died in DUI crashes in 2010. In 2011, a different type of negligent driving killed an additional 3,331 drivers and passengers: distracted driving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about half of high school student drivers in the U.S. text and drive, even though studies show that texting while driving seriously increases your chances of causing an accident.

According to research, young and inexperienced drivers are the most likely to drive while texting. In fact, drivers less than 20 years old cause 16% of all distracted driving collisions. Still, drivers of all ages can and do text behind the wheel. According to a recent study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, this seemingly simple act of texting while driving can increase a motorists crash rich by as much as 23x that of drivers who do not drive distracted.

Is texting while driving illegal?

California has four laws related to cellphones and texting while driving:

  • All drivers are banned from texting while driving
  • All drivers are banned from using handheld cellphones
  • Bus drivers are banned from all cell phone use
  • Inexperienced drivers are banned from all phone use

Texting While Driving is Negligent

Driver negligence is responsible for most car accidents. While some collisions (especially single-vehicle accidents) are caused by unavoidable weather conditions, etc., the vast majority are caused by human error. If you suffered an injury or the loss of a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Texting while driving is an unlawful and negligent act, and when drivers cause accidents because they were distracted, they can be held accountable for the damages victims suffer.

Learn more about your rights after a car accident by contact Lessem Newstate & Tooson, LLP for a FREE consultation.