Despite campaigns against driving and texting, using a mobile phone to talk or text while driving still results in significant numbers of injuries and fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Over 50 percent of drivers admit to having used their mobile phones while driving. Establishing texting as the cause of an accident makes it easier to prove negligence.
Texting While Driving
While many innocent people who are involved in a motor vehicle accident never think about the other driver texting at the time, almost 23 percent of all accidents in 2011 happened because the other driver was texting and accounted for 1.3 million accidents nationwide. An accident is 23 times more likely to occur if a driver is texting. However, while texting and driving is illegal in Florida, a driver cannot be stopped for texting unless he or she is committing another driving infraction at the same time. It is considered a secondary offense in that a driver must commit another traffic violation before a citation is issued.
What Constitutes Texting While Driving
Negligence due to texting encompasses much more than typing in and sending messages on a mobile phone. It also includes reading emails, web surfing and other mobile phone activities that can distract the driver. According to a study by Virginia Tech, a driver who is texting while driving removes his or her eyes from the road for around 23 seconds on average. According to NHTSA statistics, 424,000 individuals were injured in 2012 in motor vehicle accidents attributed to texting while driving.
Collecting Evidence for a Texting While Driving Accident
There are various ways that texting while driving can be shown as the cause of an accident. By proving negligence on the part of the other driver, it is possible for an injured driver to receive compensation for injuries and expenses outside of those covered by no-fault insurance. An experienced Boca Raton, West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale accident attorney will review police reports to ascertain that texting was the cause of an accident. In addition, mobile phone records can be used to determine if the negligent party was texting at the time of the accident.
Mobile phones hold a clear record of when calls were placed and received. The mobile phone company also has records of texts that are sent and received. Although Florida law does not have a large criminal penalty for texting, an individual who has been injured by the negligence of a texting driver can receive compensation for financial loss. An accident attorney can explain the process of recovering compensation.
Eyewitness accounts can be an important part of proving that a driver was texting when an accident occurred. Eyewitnesses may include occupants of either vehicle or bystanders who witnessed the accident. These witnesses may be called to testify in a case against the driver, showing that negligent action caused the accident.
In some instances, a driver may have admitted to texting while driving, or the officer may have noticed a mobile phone lying within reach of the driver in the motor vehicle. An admission of mobile phoneuse might be noted in the police report and can serve as evidence as to the negligence of the driver.
If you have been injured by the actions of a negligent individual who texts while driving and causes an accident, you may experience high medical bills and extensive rehabilitation as well as lost time from work. By contacting the Kaiser Romanello law firm for a free case evaluation, you can be advised of your right to recover those expenses.