People of all ages are using their cell phones to send text messages. The prevalence of messaging, also known as SMS (short message service), can be seen in the numbers. According to data from the CTIA-The Wireless Association, more than 135 billion text messages were sent monthly in 2009.Do you want to learn more? Visit https://leppardlaw.com/texting-and-driving/.
At first sight, texting seems to be an innocuous activity, with the only side effect appearing to be a reduction in human-to-human interpersonal contact. Texting, on the other hand, is having an effect on the driving lane. Text messaging drivers are thought to have caused at least 200,000 collisions in 2008, accounting for around 3% of all traffic accidents that year. Mobile phone use, apart from texting, was reported to be responsible for 25% of all accidents in 2008.
Several states have enacted legislation prohibiting the use of mobile phones and instant message devices when driving in response to these figures. Despite imposing fines on violators, all four states included in an insurance industry survey saw an uptick in crash rates after enacting legislation prohibiting drivers from talking or texting while driving. According to an article in InformationWeek, the report also discovered that drivers under the age of 25 were more likely to drive while texting than any other age group of drivers. In all four states surveyed, the number of people in this age group involved in car accidents rose. Drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 cited a lack of compliance by law enforcement as a justification for breaking their state’s mobile phone/text messaging rules.
Advocates for state and federal restrictions on driver texting/cell phone use cite studies on motorist response times to changing road conditions to make their case.
According to a report published in Car & Driver Magazine, responding to dangerous road hazards when texting is two to three times slower than operating when drunk above the legal limit. The tests were carried out on a straight road that was blocked off to all traffic.
The growing number of state bans on texting while driving, as well as many studies looking into the issue, could raise legal liability issues not just among drivers, but also among employers. Employers can be held financially liable in recent personal injuries cases if the employee responsible for the wreck was texting or making work-related calls. The fact that the call or text was received after business hours or in the employee’s personal vehicle has no bearing on the result of any of the circumstances where the contractor was held responsible. Employers would still be found liable for direct incompetence if they knew an employee was texting or using a mobile phone while travelling for work-related purposes.
Whether you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a driver’s reckless texting practises, contact a personal injuries specialist and discuss your legal rights.