Cell phone use is a common issue in cases your Houston auto accidents lawyers see every day. Cell phones can easily lead to distracted driving and accidents. An estimated 26% of car accidents involve cell phone use, and that number may be growing. If you were injured by a driver using a cell phone, talk to your Houston auto accidents lawyers. They can help you gather evidence and negotiate fair compensation. Any time a cell phone is involved in an accident, it’s best to talk to your Houston auto accidents lawyers about your case.
Talk to Your Houston Auto Accidents Lawyers if You Were in an Accident with a Driver Using a Cell Phone
Houston traffic accident law says that drivers can’t use their cell phones to text, read, email, or perform other similar tasks. These actions can all pull your attention and eyes away from the road. There are three types of distractions that impair your ability to drive: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distraction involves taking your eyes off the road. Manual distraction is when you take one or both hands off the steering wheel. Cognitive distractions take your mind off the act of driving.
Using a cell phone can involve one or all these different driving distractions. For example, texting usually involves all three, as you must look away to read the text message, use at least one hand to hold the phone and reply, and also process what the message says and how to respond. That’s why this behavior is illegal while driving, as it creates dangerous driving conditions.However, even other cell phone use may involve distractions.
For an accident claim, you will need to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the crash. Your Houston auto accidents lawyers recommend taking a few steps if you suspect that the other driver was on their cell phone. First, tell the police when they arrive that you believe the driver was using their phone and explain why you think so. Also, try to get witness statements and contact information if possible. Also, contact your attorney as soon as possible to help with your claim.
Therefore, if you were in a crash with a driver using their cell phone, contact your Houston auto accidents lawyers. They can help you gather evidence like cell phone records, traffic camera footage, and other useful information to help prove that the other driver is at fault for distracted driving.
What About Hands-Free Cell Phone Use?
Most people know texting and driving is dangerous. Therefore, most states have banned it. However, even hands-free cell phone use can distract drivers. Of the 26% of accidents caused by cell phone use, approximately 21% of those involve talking on the phone with a handheld or hands-free device. Texting while driving makes up the other 5%.
The problem with hands-free cell phone use while driving is that the human brain can’t focus on two things at the same time. Therefore, talking on the phone while driving makes your brain switch back and forth between the two tasks. This can increase the risk of getting into an accident. In fact, research shows that drivers talking on a hands-free device see, but don’t process, up to 50% of the visual information they look at on the road. This means that having a phone conversation causes cognitive distractions while driving.
Multiple studies have been carried out on the dangers of hands-free cell phone use while driving. Researchers from Transport Canada’s Ergonomics Division found that drivers talking on these devices tended to look at a smaller area of the road. They also used their side and rear-view mirrors less often and also glanced fewer times at traffic signals. Even more, researchers at the University of Utah also found that cell phone using drivers’ reaction times were slower than drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08, the legal limit for drunk driving.
Therefore, using a cell phone in any form while driving can be negligent behavior. We all have a duty of care to take precautions against dangerous driving behaviors. If another driver was using their cell phone when they hit you, your Houston auto accidents lawyers will help you gather proof of the other driver’s negligence to help you fight for compensation.
Talk to Your Houston Auto Accidents Lawyers if You Were on Your Phone During the Accident
What about if you were on your cell phone before or during an accident? It’s important not to admit fault, even if you were on your cell phone. There could be other factors that you don’t know about that prove the other driver’s negligence. However, it’s also important not to lie to the police if they ask you whether you were on your phone. If they ask you directly, answer truthfully, but still avoid saying anything that admits fault, including apologizing for the accident. After the accident, contact your Houston auto injury attorney to help you determine who is at fault for the accident.
Even if you were on your cell phone, the other driver may have caused the accident. This means you may only be partially negligent for the accident. In the state of Texas, as long as you are legally less than 51% at fault for the accident, you are still eligible for compensation for your damages and injuries. Therefore, it’s vital to contact your Houston auto accidents lawyers after a car crash. We’ll help you defend your rights and help you seek the compensation you need after a car crash.
At DeSimone Law Office, we help you protect your rights after a car accident. No matter what the circumstances, we advocate for you to help you receive the compensation you need to recover. If you don’t receive damages for your accident or injury claim, then we ask for nothing in payment. Call us today at (713) 526-0900 to talk to one of our attorneys about your case. We are here to serve you.