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Distracted driving goes beyond just texting behind the wheel

Laredo auto accident attorney

There are a number of reasons why people drive distracted, but two leading factors include the urge to multitask and drivers' confidence in their ability to engage in risky behavior behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, distracted driving is becoming the new norm. You see it everywhere on Laredo-area roads and interstates:

  • Drivers with their heads down, looking at their cellphones
  • Drivers programming navigation systems or using built-in infotainment apps
  • Drivers eating and drinking
  • Drivers grooming and taking care of personal hygiene
  • Drivers reading paperwork, and in some cases — even books, behind the wheel

Nobody ever thinks that a crash will happen to them when they engage in this type of behavior, but research finds that glancing away from the road for as little as two seconds is enough to miss impending hazards.

Can the texting ban curb distracted driving?

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), distracted driving is the cause of one in five car accidents. A statewide texting and driving ban, prohibiting the use of all wireless devices to write or read texts and emails, became law in 2017.

While passing the texting and driving ban was a step in the right direction, there is currently no law that applies to other forms of distracted driving. That means in the blink of an eye, a driver who is doing something like switching a song on a built-in streaming service can cause a catastrophe.

According to ABC News, automakers are making it easier for drivers to engage in distraction behind the wheel. Most newly manufactured vehicles come standard with some form of built-in infotainment technology that allows drivers to make calls and send texts by using voice-activated features.

Using infotainment technology, however, gives drivers a false sense of safety. It's often just as distracting as using a cellphone, and in some cases, more complex. Moreover, cognitive distractions associated with using infotainment technology can linger for as long as 27 seconds after performing a task, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

"People think they can multitask," said Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. “Voice to text technology makes mistakes. Then you correct it. You’re thinking about a different conversation -- it imperils drivers and passengers.”

There is no excuse -- Pay attention behind the wheel

Crashes caused by distracted driving are 100 percent preventable, but for those who drive responsibly, a crash may be out of their control. In any of the following scenarios, a person's life could be turned upside down by a distracted driver:

  • Being struck in a rear-end collision while waiting at a red light
  • Being struck head-on
  • Being sideswiped or run off the road
  • Being broadsided at an intersection

If you were injured in a crash, or lost a loved one because of a distracted driver, you need strong legal representation. Car accident attorney John R. Solis represents injured motorists throughout greater Laredo, Texas. When the medical bills pile up, you can count on him to fight for a fair settlement. To learn more, contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.

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