Texting and driving has become one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make. By taking your attention off the road to examine your phone, you give up control over your surroundings. This impairs your ability to react to turns, obstacles, traffic, and other changes. Texting significantly increases your risk of causing an accident that jeopardizes your life, as well as the lives of your passengers and the people around you.
Legislators have legislated on the matter, and anti-texting-while-driving ads blanket the airwaves. Still, people persist in this terrible habit. There are thousands of accidents every year directly attributable to a distracted driver who was texting.
It Only Takes a Split Second for the Road to Change
A puddle, an animal wandering onto the street, a patch of ice—they are all small enough to go unnoticed if you glance at your phone. It’s particularly dangerous to text and drive at night, when visibility is already low, and when switching back and forth between a dark open road and a bright phone screen can further inhibit your ability to see.
Fatality rates for distracted driving are higher among young drivers, who text more often and have not yet built up good driving habits. It takes time and discipline to learn how to drive well and eliminate distractions. Younger drivers still lack those skills, and they tend to lack impulse control as well. As a result, the young are at particular risk for accidents from distracted driving.
Serious Legal Troubles
Texting and driving does more than just increase your risk of a serious car accident. If such an accident does occur, then you are in a very difficult position from a legal perspective. When it comes time to assign liability in court and decide on damages, it’s hard to defend the person who was texting at the time of the crash. The last thing that any auto accident attorney wants to hear, after “I was drunk,” is “I was texting.”
Courts aren’t favorable to drivers who were texting when the accident occurred, and insurance companies know this. It is illegal and makes you look particularly bad because there is never one text that is worth a car accident. So in addition to any legal troubles that may arise, you’ll also have an incredibly hard time receiving any financial compensation for damages or medical bills. So just don’t do it.
The Bottom Line
Never text and drive under any circumstances. Even a hands-free service that reads texts to you without having it in your hand is dangerous: it distracts you and occupies your focus just as much as texting. When you drive, the sole object of your attention should be the road. If you’re unlucky enough to get in an accident, you do NOT want to be the one sending an otherwise inconsequential message.
And if you’re unlucky enough to have been in an accident involving texting, call Kuzyk Law for a free consultation. We’ll let you know what your situation looks like.
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