According to the National Safety Council, more than 1.5 million motor vehicle accidents are caused by cellphone use each year. One out of every four car accidents in the United States is related to texting while driving alone, and nearly 400,000 people are injured in these accidents every year.
In the state of Texas, it is illegal to text while driving. Some cities, including San Antonio and Austin, have made it illegal to use a handheld device for any purpose at all while driving. Despite these laws, texting while driving is so common that it often goes unnoticed.
Unnoticed does not mean unimportant. Studies have found that sending a text while driving is similar to driving blindfolded down the length of a football field at 50 MPH. Even when these are sent through hands-free devices, distraction is unavoidable when using a cellphone while driving.
National Cellphone Courtesy Month
July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month, an effort started by a manners expert in Florida around 20 years ago to encourage people to rethink their cellphone use and behaviors. This includes things like talking on the phone in restaurants, ignoring family and friends to text, or responding immediately to alerts while engaged in activities with others. Being a courteous cellphone user also means not using your phone while you drive.
Putting your phone out of reach while you drive is one way to avoid using it. Another is to turn it off completely. If you use your phone for music or podcasts while you drive, make your selections before you start your trip to avoid having to reach for your device – and do the same thing with GPS and maps. This helps to ensure you won’t need to touch your phone until your car has been stopped.
Have You Been Injured?
If you have been injured in a car accident, cellphone use may have played a role. Please call Shaw Cowart at 512-499-8900 to schedule a free case review right away. We have offices in Austin and San Antonio. We serve victims of serious injury from all nearby areas of Texas.