It is common knowledge that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have disastrous results. For years, officers and safety officials have preached the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Drunk drivers take the lives of thousands of people on the road each year. However, now there is an equally dangerous threat facing drivers: distracted driving.
Although this impairment has not been as widely publicized as driving under the influence, the threat of falling victim to a distracted driver is real. Even worse, our Houston auto accident attorney details, many people are unaware of just how reckless distracted driving in Texas can be. Although many activities people perform in their car may appear harmless, they can lead to devastating results.
It is crucial to contact the Texas personal injury lawyers at SJ Injury Attorneys if you believe your car accident was the result of a distracted driver or a driver under the influence.
Driving Under the Influence in Texas
In the state of Texas, a driver is deemed to be driving under the influence based on a blood alcohol concentration level. Currently, the state utilizes the following guidelines:
- Any individual under 21: Any traceable amount is considered unacceptable
- 21 years or older: 0.08%
- 21 years or older for Commercial Vehicles: 0.04%
Therefore, if an individual's blood-alcohol level meets or surpasses these percentages, they are considered to be driving while intoxicated.
The laws may also extend to cover individuals driving under the influence of other medications and illegal substances. In 2016 alone, over 10,000 people lost their lives due to intoxicated drivers. That number roughly translates to someone dying every 49 minutes because of intoxicated drivers. This is a staggering number. It is also reported that young adults accounted for nearly one-third of fatal DUI accidents in 2016. In addition to these tragedies, driving while under the influence also carries heavy legal repercussions.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to another person driving under the influence, contacting our Pasadena car accident attorneys is an important first step. At SJ Injury Attorneys, we specialize in helping individuals who have suffered due to another driver's negligence earn the maximum compensation possible.
Unfortunately, driving while under the influence is not the only type of behind-the-wheel negligence that can occur. A new form of danger is rapidly growing: driving while distracted.
Texas Car Accidents: Distracted Driving
Why distracted driving in Texas is a growing concern. Seemingly small acts can significantly impair a driver's ability to operate their vehicle safely. From eating in the car to texting, distractions are commonplace.
Distracted driving typically falls into three different forms: visual, cognitive, and manual. Visual distractions occur when a driver takes his or her eyes off the road. Cognitive distractions occur when a driver's focus is diverted from the road.
Finally, manual distractions occur when a driver's hands or legs are occupied with a task other than driving the vehicle. For example, a manual distraction may be taking your hands off the wheel to dig through a purse. Or a cognitive distraction could occur by having a phone conversation.
Perhaps the most popular example of distracted driving in Texas is texting while driving. Texting while driving poses perhaps the most serious threat because it causes all three forms of distracted driving (visual, cognitive, and manual). This combination of impairment is akin to driving while under the influence.
Texting can take the driver's eyes off the road for an entire five seconds. While five seconds may not sound like a very long time, if a car is traveling at 55 mph, it will travel the entire length of a football field in those five brief seconds. This significantly reduces a driver's ability to make quick decisions based on the road conditions in front of them.
Over 3,000 people in 2016 alone died due to a distracted driver. While this number may not be as large as those fatalities related to intoxicated driving, it is a growing number. Also, it has been recorded that teenage drivers are four times more likely to have an accident due to distracted driving.
How Our Legal Team Can Help
Being in a car wreck can be an emotionally trying experience and a financially stressful time for many people. If you or someone you know has been in a car accident due to drunk or distracted driving, please do not hesitate to contact our Pasadena car accident attorneys. Allow our trusted Texas personal injury attorneys to assist you through this stressful time. Our firm has years of experience in helping individuals recover the maximum amount of damage from negligent parties.