A Neustar survey shows that 72% of U.S. cell-phone users paid for text messaging packages in 2011. In terms of the population, this is approximately 203 million people with texting capabilities. Prevalent use of texting has also led to studies evaluating factors involved with texting while driving.
The Texas Transportation Institute reported that drivers’ reaction times are twice as slow when texting while driving. These facts are based on a study that observed people texting in a laboratory setting using a test-track course.
The first section of the course was an open road and the next section was a road with barrels along the side. Initially, drivers drove the course while not texting. Afterward, they drove while texting. Participants would text a familiar story, such as a fairy tale, and also answer questions about another story. These texting behaviors simulated real-life actions of reading and responding to emails or Facebook posts. Evaluators checked the drivers’ reaction times, abilities to stay within their lanes, and driving speeds.
By using flashing lights, the course indicated hazards, and testers recorded the participants’ reaction times. Drivers who were not texting reacted within one or two seconds. By comparison, drivers who were texting reacted within three to four seconds. However, even worse, texting drivers were 11 times more apt not to see the flashing light at all. Texting drivers had more trouble staying within their own lanes, swerved more frequently, and slowed down more than drivers who were not texting.
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Texting and Driving: The “Most Alarming Distraction”
The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) is not the only group concerned about the problems associated with texting while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps a list of distracted driving offenses on which it considers texting while operating a vehicle “the most alarming.” This is because of the seriousness of the slow reaction times recorded by TTI.
Three to four seconds may sound like a comparable reaction time to someone who responds to stimuli within one or two seconds. After all, how much can one second change the situation on the road? In reality, texters have experienced reaction times as slow as five seconds, which is the equivalent of driving with your eyes closed for the length of an entire football field if you are traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour!
Serious accidents can result from inattentive driving. In fact, the NHTSA reported more than 3,100 deaths related to texting and driving just in the year 2017. That does not include the significant injuries that also occurred that year, including injuries with lifelong consequences. If you are in an accident resulting from another driver’s texting while driving, Rosenberg & Gluck can help you build a strong case for the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Fault in Texting-While-Driving Accidents
New York uses a legal method called comparative fault when determining the viability and value of a personal injury claim. The good news is that this system, according to the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules §1411, allows you to recover compensation for your damages even when you are partially responsible for the accident. However, the less positive side of the law is that your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
To make sure that you get the full compensation you deserve, our Long Island texting while driving car crash attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck will gather evidence of the other driver’s fault and build a comprehensive profile of the total value of your damages.
Ways to Prove the Other Driver’s Fault
The most direct way of showing that the opposing driver in your accident was texting while driving is to obtain a copy of their cell phone records. This is a complex process that should be allocated to skilled and experienced Long Island car accident lawyers. Other forms of evidence that may supplement the opposing driver’s fault include the following.
- Police collision reports
- DUI test results
- Eyewitness testimony
- Footage from nearby traffic cameras
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Maximizing My Claim’s Value By Compiling My Damages
The tragic car accidents that result from drivers using their cell phones while operating motor vehicles can lead to a host of damages suffered by injured people like you. By using your own insurance policy’s no-fault coverage, you may be able to recover up to $50,000 to offset your losses. However, some injuries involve much higher amounts of harm that should result in additional compensation. Below are the two kinds of damages for which you can pursue a recovery from the at-fault driver.
- Economic Harms: medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damage values, etc.
- Non-Economic Harms: loss of enjoyment in life, psychological turmoil, physical pain, loss of consortium with your spouse, etc.
As texting- while -driving is against the law, the jury may decide that the driver in your case acted with extreme disregard for the safety of others. This may lead to extra compensation known as exemplary damages, but it is not a category of compensation for which you or your Long Island texting -while- driving car accident lawyer can argue directly. Exemplary damages are doled out rarely, and certain legal precedents have tended toward a 1:1 correspondence between your compensable or “actual” damages and the value of any exemplary damages awarded. You should not count on this extra compensation but should trust your Long Island car crash attorney to fight for the monetary award you need to get your life back on track after this tragedy.
If injured in an accident where another driver was texting, seek legal help. Texting-while-driving is illegal in New York. Our Long Island car accident lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP can evaluate your accident and advise about pursuing a lawsuit.