Texting while driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents. Yet millions of drivers continue to text and drive every day. Distractions on the road happen all too often. For example, in 2009, a 30 year-old schoolteacher in Endwell, New York was killed by one of her own students – a teenager who was texting while driving.
Laws have been passed in California making texting while driving illegal, because it is so common and has caused many avoidable collisions. The 2008 Chatsworth train collision in Los Angeles, California was blamed on the operator of one of the trains missing a signal due to sending a text message. That tragedy killed 25 people, including the distracted Metrolink engineer.
In June 2009, Car and Driver magazine conducted a study and found reaction times and stopping distances increased 36 feet for drivers who are a reading text message, and nearly doubled to 70 feet for drivers who are typing and sending a text. By way of comparison, stopping distances for intoxicated drivers only increase by four feet when compared to unimpaired drivers.
In addition, a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that drivers took their eyes off the road for an average of four to five seconds while sending a text. This is long enough for a distracted driver to travel the length of a football field, placing surrounding vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, and various other obstacles in harm’s way. Unfortunately, studies in many of the states that have passed laws banning cell phone use demonstrate the number of accidents that continue to rise, despite the restrictions.
If you have been involved in a car accident, bicycle accident, or anything where you believe cell-phone distraction is to blame, we can help. Please contact our offices immediately for a free case consultation.