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Texting While Driving Put to the Test

At Dolman Law Group, we have seen a substantial increase in accidents caused by distracted driving. With the proliferation of the use of smartphones over the past ten years, texting and driving has become a commonplace and acceptable behavior by a large segment of society. Texting and driving were once only slightly accepted by the younger segment of society. However, it has now become more commonplace with almost every age group in America. Just look over next time you are stopped at a red light, 90% of the people around you will be looking down, presumably at their phone. Once the light turns green, I’m willing to bet that most of them continue on.

Why is texting and driving so dangerous?

Texting while driving is not just a buzz word or hot topic. There are some who argue that it is no more dangerous than any other distraction activity someone might engage in while driving, but that is not true. Other distractions like talking to your passengers or eating a hamburger are different for one distinct reason: the amount of facilities they take. Texting while driving (or playing a game, scanning Facebook, etc.) requires you to:

  • take your hands off the wheel to manipulate the screen;
  • take your eyes off the road to look at the phone; and,
  • take your mind off of driving to focus on processing the information.

This deadly triad is what makes texting and driving so dangerous. It’s a threesome of risk.

It seems everyone is guilty of doing it these days. According to Distraction.gov, at any given moment 660,000 people are texting while driving.

Technology to Study Distracted Driving

How often do you look down and text a single word reply while driving?

Josh Vadnais, 17, did just that when replying to a text regarding dinner, “…Burger or pizza?” In the few seconds it took for Josh to look down, read the message, and attempt to reply, he swerved off the road. He looked up just in time to slam on his brakes at a red light. Luckily for Josh, he did not injure himself or anyone else in the incident. That’s because Josh was behind the wheel of a driving simulator during the Teen Safe Driving Summit in Minnesota. Josh was just one of 160 participants to test out their texting while driving ability.

New innovations and technologies were also presented during the summit. Donath presented an online video game, “Distraction Dodger”. The interactive game takes the players into the seat of a pizza delivery vehicle. The objective of the game is to help build a successful pizza business. To do this, players must use a smartphone to operate social media and a GPS while steering clear of obstacles, traffic tickets, and property and personal damage. The game gives feedback to the players regarding their driving performance and level of distraction.

If you want to check out this game for yourself, it is available at www.its.umn.edu/DistractionDodger.

Disturbing Statistics on Distracted Driving

In Minnesota last year, a 17-year-old girl told her friends to mind their own business (in so many words) when they were giving her a hard time about texting and driving. Moments later, she ran a red light and slammed into an oncoming vehicle. A father and his 10-year-old daughter were killed instantly.

This was not a simulation.

In Ireland, a 16-year-old girl sent a text telling her friend that she “was pulling in” when asked how far away she was. Minutes later the waiting friend noticed people from the neighborhood running towards the neighborhood entrance. The teen girl had wrecked head-on into a brick entry sign. She died while sending the fateful text.

These are not fluke incidents.

Over 2.5 million people are involved in car crashes every year. Of those, over 25 percent are caused by distracted driving. Furthermore, of all the accidents involving distracted driving, 78% are caused by texting. It’s an epidemic.

Clearwater Distracted Driving

At Dolman Law Group, we routinely handle distracted driver claims relating to texting and driving. We have pursued a significant amount of cases that were caused by a distracted driver who was busy texting instead of focusing on the road.

An interesting article in Car and Driver Magazine illustrated that the average driver spends more than five seconds staring at their phone while trying to retrieve a text message. In that span of time, an automobile can cover over 300 feet while traveling at 55 miles per hour. This is a scary proposition. This means you could travel the distance of a football field while opening one text—much less reading and replying to it. Imagine traveling that far without taking a single glance at the road; it’s scary.

Many experts believe that texting and driving is actually more dangerous than drunk driving. In fact, some studies have approximated that it is up to 6 times more dangerous.

Clearwater chiropractor, Malek Boutros, has seen a vast increase in patient’s injured as a result of texting and driving.

“Distracted drivers are every bit as bad as drunk drivers,” he told us.

Dolman Law Group recently handled a claim against a young driver who proceeded through a stop sign while texting. He had no idea he was running through an intersection when he impacted our client’s car at 40 miles an hour. This unfortunate auto accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury to our client.

Check out this article for an interesting take on how to prevent distracted driving due to technology.

Dolman Law Group

Dolman Law Group is a personal injury and civil trial law firm based in Clearwater, Florida. Our attorneys only represent consumers like yourself, and never have and never will, represent an insurance company.

We routinely litigate personal injury claims relating to distracted driving throughout the State of Florida. Currently, we are representing plaintiffs in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, and Polk County.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, contact us. We will be more than happy to help you gain the compensation you deserve. You have to deal with the burden of your injury, you should not have to deal with the financial burden too. Call us for a free consultation today at (727) 451-6900.