Your car, SUV or pickup truck can warn you of an obstacle as you back up, stop on its own and warn you that you drifted out of your lane. Airbags envelope you in case of an accident, and even your braking system helps ensure you can stop when needed. All of these technologies work to save the lives of drivers and their passengers, but other technologies tend to take lives.
Cell phones can also save lives, but when used while driving, they often lead to chaos and catastrophe. Texting and driving don’t mix much in the same way that drinking and driving don’t mix. In fact, texting while driving continues to cause numerous accidents here in Washington and across the country.
Traffic fatalities rise at an alarming rate
Up until the last couple of years, the number of traffic fatalities across the country steadily headed downward. Unfortunately, those numbers increased approximately 14 percent in the last two years. In 2014, 35,398 people lost their lives on the country’s roadways. In 2016, that number increased to 40,200.
What’s causing the increase?
Researchers and experts attribute the increase to many factors such as an increase in speed limits on highways and interstates, an increase in the number of drivers (adults and teens) and more people taking road trips since the economy began to rebound. However, an alarming number of deaths result from a distracted driver who decided that sending or reading texts needed their attention more than driving.
The texting problem
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey in 2016 regarding texting and driving. An alarming 40 percent of responders admitted to reading emails and texts while they drove. Nearly 33 percent admitted that they typed and sent a text behind the wheel. These are just the people who would admit to engaging in this dangerous activity.
For these reasons and others, all but four states passed laws making texting illegal while driving. Most people say they believe texting while driving is unacceptable, but what they say and what they do often don’t coincide. Chances are that every time you get behind the wheel, you share the roads with at least one person who decides that your safety isn’t as important to them as the text they read or send.
Accidents will happen
Eventually, the luck of a texting driver will run out, and you could have the misfortune of ending up in the wake of that person’s mistake. If you suffer serious injuries as a result, you could seek compensation for the medical bills, lost wages and other damages you undoubtedly incur from the other driver’s lack of attention to the road.
Obtaining that compensation could cause you a significant amount of stress and frustration. You need to have the freedom to focus on your recovery and getting your life back in order. An attorney could prove invaluable in providing you that freedom while relieving your frustration and stress by advocating on your behalf.