Distracted Driving is a problem in Houston
As the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston is known for many things. Houston has the largest medical center in the world, the biggest port in Texas, and is the world capital of space exploration. Houston is also known as having a distracted driving problem.
What makes Distracted Driving so dangerous?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” Anything that takes the focus from the road and onto something else affects the driver and their ability to safely navigate the roadways. Contributors to distracted driving are:
Changing radio stations
Using a cellphone
Why is Distracted Driving a problem in Houston?
Houston is known for its intricate highways and wide lanes. It is a big city and a major destination for economical business and as such many people commute. With so many people on the road, drivers become distracted as they are rushing from point A to point B. As a consequence, they take their eyes off the road and onto something else.
Taking your eyes off the road even for a second can lead a car going 55-60 mph into another lane and into a crash. As a society that is keen on being “in the know”, we feel that we must always see the new snap from a friend or see the new post on Facebook. These things can cause a great distraction from driving and are safer to do when you are not behind the wheel.
In Houston and Harris County, the number of injuries related to distracted driving has risen in the last couple of years. According to AAA, in 2017, Harris County saw a 62% increase from 2016 in the number of fatal crashes caused by distracted driving. That means there are more people who died from a distracted driving related incident that could have been prevented.
Texting while driving is Illegal
Texas is curbing distracting driving. In 2017, the State of Texas has banned using cellphones to text or write emails while driving. It is a misdemeanor with fines from $25 to $200. Texas also started the #HeadsupTexas campaign that aimed to inform drivers that texting can wait until after you finish driving.
In November 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation also launched the campaign #EndTheStreakTX. The campaign aimed its directive to inform drivers to stop distracted driving and encourage safer choices.
Houston itself is also trying to solve their distracted driving problem. In August 2019, Mayor Turner and the City of Houston commenced Vision Zero. Vision Zero’s approach is to making the streets of Houston safer by making the infrastructure safer and a commitment to end traffic-related deaths and injury by 2030.
What can you do to prevent distracted driving?
Today, there are many ways for drivers to prevent distracted driving.
Enable Do not Disturb Mode on cellphones. Both iPhone and Android users can enable this feature on their phones to silent notifications and calls, while auto replying to senders with a simple message.
Pull over if needing to take a call or to text . If you cannot miss a call or text, safely pull over and use the phone.
Put your cellphone away or turn it completely off before getting behind the wheel. Turning off your phone completely will enable you to keep your eyes on the road without any distractions.
Ask your passenger. If there is a passenger in the car, ask them to respond to the text messages, respond to phone calls, or help navigate the GPS.
Distracted driving victims can be compensated
Once a distracted driver takes their eyes off the road, anyone near them can be injured. Victims of distracted drivers can hold drivers at fault for negligence. Those affected will have to deal with the aftermath of sustaining injuries such as hospital bills and loss of income. In cases of enacting an injury claim, it is always best to hire an experienced lawyer to fight for you.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured due to a distracted driver, you may be eligible for compensation. Receive justice for your injuries. Contact us today at 713-789-5200 to receive a free consultation right away!