An Innocent Text Can Change Your Life

Legal Matters


presented by: Frank S. Buck P.C., Personal Injury

Texting and driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving. Every week news stations report on yet another car wreck with severe injuries or even death that was caused by texting and driving. These constant and heart wrenching warnings should stop us in our tracks. Yet drivers continue to ignore the risks associated with a cell phone when they take not only their eyes off the road, but their hands off the wheel as well.

The statistics of car wrecks while using a cellphone are overwhelming. A driving analytics company called Zendrive found drivers are using their phones 88% of the time they are in the car. Just a two-second distraction increases your risk of crashing by 20%. A driver going 55 mph can travel 100 yards in five seconds. If that driver is texting, that is equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field while blindfolded. One in four car accidents are caused by cell phones. A study from the University of Utah has found that people are as impaired when they drive and use a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated. Cell phone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers. The U.S Department of Transportation has found that text messaging increases the risk of crash or near-crash by 23 times. According to national studies, 78% of all accidents, are caused by texting while driving. New teenage drivers are at higher risk. The fatal crash rate for teens is 3 times greater than for drivers age 20 and over.

In an effort to reduce the accidents and fatalities from cell phone use while driving, many states have banned texting and cell phone use while driving. Interestingly, many of the states that have banned cell phones have fewer motor vehicle collisions. Even the cell phone companies know the hazards of cell phone use and driving. In early 2013, the nation’s four biggest cell phone companies launched their first joint advertising campaign against texting while driving. Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile united behind AT&T’s “It Can Wait” advertising campaign, warning their customers against the misuse of their own devices.

Under Alabama law, drivers owe a duty to others on the road to drive with reasonable care. If someone drives in an unreasonable manner, such as driving distracted with a cell phone, and hits another vehicle because of it, that person is legally liable for the resultant injuries. The injured person is entitled to recover money for those injuries. Is that text or phone call worth it? It only takes one second of taking your eyes off the road for a life to be lost or forever changed. Let’s all go back to the basics of driver’s education, eyes on the road, hands on the wheel. If you must respond to a call or text, please pull over to make that call or check that text. Because of the legal issues involved in a personal injury case, please contact us if you or your loved ones are injured so we can help you.

Frank S. Buck, P.C., Attorneys at Law have been offering professional legal services and serving Alabama citizens for over 43 years. We have experienced trial attorneys who have over 100 years of combined trial experience. You can reach us 24 hours a day at (205) 933-7533. Please call us for a free consultation.


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