Injury Accidents From Texting and Driving Are Entirely Preventable
Unfortunately, car accidents are an all-too-common occurrence on roads and highways across the U.S., and an increasing number of these collisions result from drivers who read and send text messages while driving. These types of car accidents can be especially devastating when someone is injured because they’re entirely avoidable. Texting while driving can cause physical, emotional, financial, and sometimes even fatal harm, and yet despite that, injury accidents caused by negligent drivers continue to rise.
Shockingly, although most drivers acknowledge the safety issues of texting and driving, 39% have admitted to reading a text or email while driving in the past month, and worse, another 29% admitted to typing one while driving in a recent AAA survey.
The Dangers of Texting and Driving
It’s always dangerous when drivers use their mobile phones while driving; that goes without saying, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is responsible for more than 3000 fatalities each year. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive — it makes you 23 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle collision, and 6 times more likely to cause a car accident than drunk driving!
When drivers take their eyes off the road, even for just a few seconds, they increase their risk of causing a car accident. Texting requires drivers to take their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field blindfolded. Simply put, when you’re texting, you’re not paying attention to the road, which can cause you to miss important cues such as stop signs, red lights, and pedestrians.
When drivers take their hands off the steering wheel, they reduce their ability to control the vehicle. Texting requires drivers to take at least one hand off the wheel to actively hold their phone while typing. In doing so, they lose complete steering control, significantly increasing the likelihood of a car accident.
Drivers whose attention wanders from driving are more likely to miss important road signs or surrounding vehicles. Texting requires cognitive attention for reading and typing messages; when a driver’s mind is partially focused on driving, their reaction time becomes slower and less effective.
How Texting and Driving Can Cause a Car Accident
While there are virtually limitless ways to cause a car crash, the probability goes way up with texting and driving. Some of the most common types of accidents caused by texting include:
Rear-End Collisions: When drivers are texting, they don’t always notice when the car in front of them suddenly stops or slows down. This can lead to a rear-end collision, which can cause serious injuries including whiplash.
Head-On Collisions: Texting and driving can cause a driver to drift into oncoming traffic, resulting in a head-on collision. Head-on collisions are often fatal and can cause severe injuries to both drivers.
Pedestrian Accidents: When you’re texting while driving, you may not notice pedestrians crossing the street. This can lead to a pedestrian accident, which can cause life-changing injuries or death.
Intersection Accidents: Running red lights or stop signs is a common problem, resulting in an intersection accident. Intersection accidents can be particularly dangerous, as they often involve multiple vehicles.
Texting and Driving Laws in Kansas City
Both Kansas and Missouri have laws that prohibit texting while driving. In Kansas, it is illegal for drivers to text or use their phones to send or receive electronic messages while driving. The law applies to all drivers, regardless of their age or driving experience. The first offense carries a fine of $60, and subsequent offenses carry penalties of up to $200.
In March 2023, the Missouri state Senate granted first-round approval to a bi-partisan bill that would ban texting while driving. On August 28, 2023 the Siddens Bening Hands-Free Law, RSMo § 304.820, went into effect in the state of Missouri prohibiting all drivers from using a handheld electronic communication device while driving.
The Consequences of Being Injured by a Texting Driver
If you’re injured in a car accident caused by a texting driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances of the accident.
If a texting driver has caused an injury accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Navigating the legal system on your own can be complex and overwhelming, especially when dealing with insurance companies and other driver’s attorneys — this is where a car accident lawyer can help.
Proving Negligence in a Distracted Driver Claim
To win a car accident claim, you must prove that the other driver was negligent. Negligence means that the other driver failed to exercise reasonable care while driving and, as a result, caused your injuries. Regarding texting and driving accidents, proving negligence can be challenging, but we can help.
Attorney Dodrill of Plaza Injury Law will investigate the accident, review phone records, and gather other evidence to prove that the other driver was texting at the time of the accident. This evidence can be critical in establishing negligence and will significantly increase your chances of winning your case.
Determining Liability for a Car Accident Caused by Texting While Driving
Beyond negligence, how can you prove liability? How can you ensure a negligent driver will pay for your damages? The short answer is that you must hire a personal injury attorney to help fight for the compensation you’re entitled to. While in some cases, liability may be straightforward – if for example, the at-fault party is caught on a traffic camera typing a text message at the time of the accident – it’s not always so clear cut. Proving liability can be a daunting task in certain circumstances, and not one you should tackle on your own, especially when you’re recovering from an injury accident.
Suppose, for example, the other driver was texting at the time of the accident, but their brakes failed, causing the accident. In that case, liability may be split between the driver and the manufacturer of the brakes. Only an experienced car accident lawyer will know the laws and the best course of action to produce a successful outcome.
Maximizing Your Personal Injury Claim Compensation
In addition to proving negligence and determining liability, a car accident lawyer can also work to maximize your compensation. This includes seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the accident.
A car accident lawyer can help you calculate the full extent of your damages, including future medical expenses and lost earning potential, and can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you receive a fair settlement. A car accident lawyer can also represent you in court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
Legal Expertise for Texting While Driving Accidents
When you’ve been the victim of an injury accident caused by an inattentive driver, an experienced personal injury attorney like Donovan Dodrill can be a highly effective advocate working on your behalf. He understands the complexities of personal injury law and can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Working with a local car accident lawyer here in Kansas City can also help alleviate the stress and burden of dealing with insurance companies and legal proceedings. Let us handle the paperwork, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court, so you can focus on your recovery.
Contact Donovan Dodrill at Plaza Injury Law Today
We all know that texting while operating a motor vehicle is dangerous and can cause severe accidents and injuries, but unfortunately, irresponsible drivers do it all the time. The penalties in Kansas and Missouri are simply not sufficient to dissuade them. However, if you’ve been involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contacting us as soon as possible is essential. Attorney Dodrill can help you understand your legal rights and options, prove negligence, determine liability, and maximize your compensation. Contact Plaza Injury Law today to get started!