Texting is a Dangerous Form of Distracted Driving
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, distracted driving is “anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or your mind off driving.”
Because texting involves all three of these behaviors, it is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving.
Why is Distracted Driving So Dangerous?
Even a focused driver who texting and doing 50 mph will travel nearly the length of a football field before coming to a full stop when he sees a hazard ahead. A distracted driver will take much longer to recognize a hazard and hit the brakes to stop.
In fact, according to the National Safety Council, texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road. It is also six times more likely to cause an accident than driving while intoxicated.
Florida has long held a reputation for having some of the country’s worst drivers. To combat this, the state has a new law that will let police stop and ticket drivers for texting while they are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, with some exceptions. Law-makers are hoping that this new crackdown on texting while driving will improve road safety throughout the state.
Accidents Will Still Happen
While this new law should reduce the number of texting while driving accidents, it will not eliminate them completely. People will continue to text and drive. People will continue to put themselves and others in danger.
What Happens if You are in a Texting While Driving Accident?
So what happens if you are a victim of an accident caused by another driver texting and driving? Can you actually prove that the other driver was texting while he was driving?
To prove that the other party is liable for the accident’s injuries and damages due to texting while driving, you must prove that he was negligent. This involves proving four basic elements:
- Showing that the driver is obligated to act a certain way toward you; owes you a “duty of care.”
- Explaining that the other driver breached the “duty of care” he owes you.
- Proving that the other driver’s breach of his “duty of care” injured you.
- Showing that the other driver damaged or injured you in some way.
How to Prove Texting While Driving Negligence
Proving each of these negligence elements involves assembling documents to support your claim. This means obtaining the following records and documentation:
- Cell phone records of the other driver. These will show at exactly what time the driver was texting. If the other driver’s phone company will not supply these records upon request, then a subpoena might be required.
- The police report. Police who report to an accident scene gather evidence, including skid mark photographs, vehicle damage photographs, eyewitness statements and more. Some of this evidence might point to the driver texting. For example, long skid marks might suggest a decreased reaction time due to the driver’s attention being someplace other than the road.
- Eyewitness statements. These will tell if anyone who witnessed the accident saw the driver texting before the accident occurred.
Texting while driving is illegal in nearly every state. Thankfully in Florida, the laws are getting tougher. Still, texting while driving will continue to cause accidents in and around Tampa. If you are the victim of another driver’s negligence because of texting while driving, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
It is possible to prove that it was the other driver’s texting that caused the accident. It takes a skilled personal injury attorney to compile the proper documentation and prosecute a successful case. Do not go through it alone. Contact Melkonian PA today for a free consultation.