Texting is one of the most distracting activities to perform behind the wheel. Studies have found that a person texting while driving has a much higher risk of involvement in an accident compared to someone who is not texting while driving. Learning some facts about texting and driving can help motorists become more aware of its inherent dangers.
For example, texting is so dangerous because it takes your eyes away from the road and your hands off of the steering wheel. But even voice-activated texting apps that let you keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road can be dangerous. Finally, texting also takes your mind off of the task of driving.
More Texting and Driving Facts and Statistics
The following statistics and facts on texting and driving cited by Distraction.gov clearly demonstrate how pervasive this activity is among American motorists and how dangerous it can be.
- On an average, you take your eyes off the road for about five seconds when you're texting. (Citing Virginia Tech Transportation Institute – VTTI)
- Texting while driving increases the risk of getting involved in an accident threefold. That's enough time to travel the length of a football field if traveling at 55 mph. (Citing VTTI)
- Approximately 25 percent of teen drivers admit to answering a text at least once every time they drive. (Citing University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute – UMTRI)
- Twenty percent of teenagers and 10 percent of parents admit to multi-message texting conversations while driving. (Citing UMTRI)
Want a more visual demonstration of the dangers? Check out our previous blog post about an ad shown to moviegoers in Hong Kong.
Washington Laws on Texting While Driving
If the statistics above don’t persuade Kirkland drivers to put their phones away while driving, then maybe this texting and driving fact will: Washington state bans all motorists from texting.
It also bans use of handheld mobile devices in general for all drivers, and bans hands-free devices for novice drivers. These are all primary laws, meaning police officers do not need to see any other traffic infractions before pulling over a motorist for texting while driving.
Distracted Driving is Negligence
A driver who is texting while driving is clearly negligent and also legally culpable when he causes an accident while driving. However, if you were in an accident with a distracted motorist, it is not always easy to prove that the person was using a cell phone. Even if you saw the person using a texting device just before the accident, it is very likely that the motorist will deny use of the cell phone.
However, there are ways to prove that the person was using a cell phone at the time of your accident driving. Talk to an attorney about accessing the motorist’s phone records. You may also rely on eyewitness testimony that the other driver was texting.
Speak to a car accident lawyer about how you can identify the other motorist’s negligence and recover compensation for your damages. If you’re in the Kirkland area, contact Max Meyers Law or use our contact form.