It is most likely no surprise to learn that distracted driving deaths increased last year. Regardless of how many cell phone bans, distracted driving bans, and increased fines and enforcement are put in place, motor vehicle drivers are still choosing to get behind the wheel and give their attention to things other than the task at hand, which is driving. Instead, they would rather focus on their cellular devices, the radio, or their friends or family members in the vehicles with them. As a result, more deaths and serious injuries are being reported.
How many crashes are caused by distracted driving in San Antonio, TX?
According to an article released by the Texas Department of Transportation, there was a 10% increase in distracted driving fatalities in 2022. This means that around one in every six crashes in Texas are caused by distracted driving, which is extremely alarming.
When it comes to San Antonio specifically, a news report explained that distracted driving accounted for more than 14,300 crashes in 2020. These crashes resulted in 27 fatalities and over 160 severe injuries in San Antonio alone.
What are the different types of distracted driving?
Distracted driving is a term used to describe when a motor vehicle driver is driving a vehicle but is not solely paying attention or focusing on the roads or surroundings. Instead, they are busy looking and paying attention to other things, such as their passengers, their emails, their text messages, their radio, their GPS system, and more. The following are the three different types of distracted driving:
- Manually distracted: This is when the driver’s hands are off the steering wheel. They may be texting, sending an email, putting on makeup, brushing their hair, or reaching for an item on the floorboard.
- Visually distracted: A person who is visually distracted is failing to keep their eyes on the road. They may be texting, talking to their passenger, looking at their child or pet in the backseat, changing the radio station, or looking at the GPS system.
- Cognitively distracted: When a driver has their mind on other things while driving, this means they are cognitively distracted. They may be thinking of a heated argument they had with a family member, talking on the phone, sending a text message, or reading an email.
As you can see, texting is one of the most serious types of distracted driving as it can fit into all three categories. It takes your hands, eyes, and brain off driving, meaning that you are completely distracted.
Is distracted driving considered negligent behavior?
Distracted driving is a careless and reckless action and therefore considered negligent behavior. There are four elements of any negligence claim:
- Duty of care: The driver owed you a duty of care, which means that they were required to give their full focus and attention to the roads to keep you safe and harm-free.
- Breach of duty: The driver acted carelessly and recklessly, which breached their duty of care.
- Causation: By choosing to drive distracted, they directly caused your accident and injuries.
- Losses: You suffered losses due to the driver’s negligent behavior. Some of your losses may be injuries, medical bills, lost income, property damage, and more.
When a person causes your car accident and injuries because they were distracted driving, you may file a lawsuit against them. Proving it, however, can be a challenge. This is why working with a San Antonio car accident attorney from the Law Offices of Pat Maloney can help. Our team has decades of experience representing clients who were injured by negligent drivers. We know what tricks the insurance companies will use to deny you fair compensation. We also know what kinds of evidence to seek and preserve that can prove you are not to blame for the crash that caused you harm.
How to prevent distracted driving in San Antonio, TX
Car accidents involving distracted driving are 100% preventable. However, they continue to happen every single day across San Antonio, Texas, and the United States. These are five tips you can follow to help prevent distracted driving:
- If you need to send a text message or make a phone call, pull over or make sure you are in a safe spot to stop or park before doing so.
- If you drop an important item on the floor of your vehicle, wait until you come to a complete stop to pick it up.
- When you stop to get food, give yourself some time to eat it in the parking lot or the restaurant before deciding to drive.
- Ask your passenger to change the radio station, air conditioning controls, or GPS system for you. If you do not have a passenger, wait until you come to a complete stop before doing any of these tasks.
- If you are driving with young children, give them a toy or something that will keep them occupied during the ride. This will allow you to focus on the road.
For 70 years, the Law Offices of Pat Maloney have been helping clients with distracted driving accident claims. Our legal team knows and understands the difficulties that these types of accidents place on victims and their families. Therefore, if you hire Pat Maloney as your car accident attorney, he will do everything he can to ensure that the defendant is held accountable for their negligent actions. Call us or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation at our San Antonio office to get the legal assistance you need and deserve today.
Pat Maloney, Jr. is a skilled San Antonio personal injury lawyer who has acted as lead counsel and co-counsel in many multi-million dollar verdicts throughout Texas. Pat Maloney represents people injured in car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and more. He is well known for his expertise in representing victims of serious personal injuries and has participated as a lecturer in the field of personal injury litigation. He has been named as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” Reference Book every year for the last five years.