Staying alert on the road is crucial. Yet, in our tech-filled world, distractions are everywhere, pulling even seasoned drivers away from their primary tasks. These momentary lapses can lead to devastating crashes, resulting in serious injuries or the loss of loved ones.At Johnson Garcia, our Houston-based car accident lawyers recognize the immediate dangers of distracted driving. We greatly stress the importance of timely legal intervention for affected victims to get the recovery they deserve.
Driving requires a combination of focus, coordination, and quick decision-making. Every second behind the wheel, drivers are processing a vast amount of information — the movement of other vehicles, traffic signals, pedestrians, and road conditions, to name a few. When a driver becomes distracted, even for a brief moment, their ability to process this information diminishes significantly.
In 2020 alone, Texas saw 3,142 fatalities due to distracted driving, with 396 of these involving cell phone use. With just a single glance at a text message, a vehicle can cover the length of a football field while driving at highway speeds. Those precious seconds can be deceptive. Road conditions can shift rapidly. Lacking complete focus on the driving task, even a slight delay in reaction can spell the difference between a narrow escape and a devastating collision.
Truth be told, the human brain isn’t truly capable of multitasking in the way we often believe it can. When we attempt to juggle driving with another task, we’re not doing both simultaneously. Instead, our brain rapidly switches between tasks, meaning there are moments when we’re not focused on driving at all.
In many ways, distracted driving is like driving with your eyes closed, even if just for a moment. The dangers are real and immediate. It’s not only the driver at risk but everyone else on the road. Constant vigilance is required.
We’ve all seen it: drivers swiping on their phones, fumbling with food, or lost in deep conversation. But did you know three main types of distractions can pull a driver’s focus away from Houston roads?
These are the distractions that make you look away. Maybe it’s a catchy billboard, a quick check in the rearview mirror to fix your hair, or that urgent text that just came in.
It’s not just about taking your eyes off the road; there’s also what you might miss in that split second. A child chasing a ball, a car merging unexpectedly, or a pedestrian stepping off the curb. Beyond the obvious phone check, even something as simple as adjusting your sun visor or getting distracted by a beautiful sunset can momentarily blind you.
Have you ever tried to juggle a coffee cup while steering? Or perhaps you’ve reached behind to grab something from the backseat. These are the moments when your hands leave the wheel, even if it’s just for a second.
While we often pride ourselves on our multitasking abilities, the reality is that driving demands our full attention. It’s not just about keeping hands on the wheel — it’s about being ready to react. Changing a song or rummaging in your bag might seem harmless, but your reaction time is compromised in those moments. A sudden need to swerve or brake can catch you off-guard, leading to dire consequences.
Getting lost in thought is easy, especially on a long drive. Whether you’re planning your day, engrossed in an audiobook, or just daydreaming, your mind isn’t fully on the road.
Our minds are constantly racing, juggling thoughts, plans, and emotions. But when driving, a wandering mind can be as dangerous as wandering eyes. It’s not just daydreaming. Even rehearsing an important conversation in your head or stressing over a work problem can pull your focus from the immediate risks on the road.
Examples of Distracted Driving:
Remember, every distraction, no matter how small, takes away crucial seconds of reaction time. Stay safe, stay focused.
Spotting a distracted driver might not always be obvious, but there are certain signs and methods to help:
Direct evidence from the scene or the driver’s possessions can shed light on whether they were distracted:
People who saw the accident happen can be invaluable in determining if distraction played a role:
Sometimes, drivers admit their mistakes:
Understanding and identifying distracted driving is crucial. It helps in legal cases and emphasizes the importance of staying focused on the road. At Johnson Garcia, we believe in holding distracted drivers accountable and ensuring that victims receive the support and justice they deserve.
Figuring out who’s at fault in a distracted driving accident can be complex in Houston and its surrounding areas. While the driver is often the main one to blame, sometimes other factors or parties might also be involved. Here’s a breakdown:
Every driver owes it to others on the road to drive attentively. If they were distracted, whether by a phone, food, or something else, they’re usually the ones held responsible.
Sometimes, the tech in our cars can be the very thing that distracts us. If a vehicle’s built-in system is found to be overly complicated or distracting, the manufacturer might be held partly responsible. Similarly, tech companies producing apps or devices commonly used while driving could face scrutiny.
If a driver is on the job and gets into an accident because they were distracted, their employer might share some of the blame, especially if they were using company equipment or vehicles.
In cases where road signs, signals, or conditions contribute to a driver’s distraction, local or state government entities might be held accountable. For instance, if a traffic signal is malfunctioning and a driver gets distracted trying to figure it out, it could be argued that the faulty signal played a role in the crash.
Sometimes, other drivers can do things that force someone to become distracted. For example, if a driver is reacting to someone else’s aggressive or erratic behavior on the road, both might share the blame for any resulting accident.
Establishing who is at fault in a distracted driving accident is not just about assigning blame — it’s a crucial step in ensuring justice, compensation, and future safety. Determining liability promptly is essential, especially considering the legal time constraints for filing a lawsuit. Moreover, understanding the causes and liabilities of accidents can guide future safety campaigns, driver education programs, and even influence legislation aimed at reducing such incidents.
Determining liability in a distracted driving crash isn’t always straightforward. Multiple factors and parties can contribute to the accident. At Johnson Garcia, we delve deep into each case’s circumstances to fight for victims’ rights.
Call us at 832-844-6700 or reach out online today. With over 35 years of experience, we will stand by your side, championing your rights and ensuring you get the justice you seek.