With the rise of mobile technology also comes a rise in car accidents due to the distractions these devices can create. Sending a text message while driving is in fact one of the most dangerous of these distractions.
A 2009 experiment by Car and Driver magazine editor Eddie Alterman on an abandoned air strip showed texting to be more dangerous than drunk driving. Legally intoxicated, it took Alterman an additional 4 feet to stop at 70 MPH…sending a text added 70 feet to this stopping distance.
Another study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute used video cameras in vehicles to study the driver and the road. Analysis of the data found that 81% of ‘safety-critical’ events involved some sort of distracted driving, with texting having the greatest ‘relative risk.’ Drivers of large trucks who text in fact have a 23.2 times greater chance of being distracted and getting in a wreck as a non-distracted driver.
Therefore, it’s by no means a stretch to say that texting while driving leads to increased distraction behind the wheel
Effective in December 2009, Colorado banned the practice of texting while driving. Penalties are a $50 fine for the first offense and a $100 fine for the second.
Many notable accidents have occurred since the advent of text messaging, including Heather Leigh Hurd who was killed by a truck driver sending a text message. Heather’s father has since been a tireless crusader for establishing texting laws across the U.S.
Another notable accident involved a commuter train driver in Boston who was sending a text to his girlfriend while driving the train. It’s estimated the crash that injured 46 people caused $9.6 million in damage.
Regardless of any laws prohibiting it, it’s just plain wise to pull off the road before sending a text message on your phone. If an accident occurs while using your phone, you could be held liable for any damages.
Conversely, if you’re in a car accident with a driver who was distracted due to sending a text message, you can seek compensation for injuries and property damage. As we discussed in our knowledge center article on determining fault in a car accident, violation of a statute like the texting ban is one way to prove negligence on the part of the other driver.
If you’ve been in an accident due to a distracted driver sending a text message while driving, you most likely have grounds to pursue a claim. Contact Denver car accident attorneys at the Babcock Law Firm to discuss your case today.