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cell phones and distracted driving

Local Houston Doctors Urge Drivers To Put Down Their Cell Phones

The more we rely on our cell phones, the more difficult it is to get through to drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. Texas’ prohibition against texting while driving that went into effect in 2017 seems to have had little effect on this behavior. As revealed in Texas Monthly earlier this year, Houston and Dallas lead the nation in distracted driving. Seeing the human costs associated with this risky behavior, doctors at Memorial Hermann released a video plea this month to encourage Houstonians to stop driving distracted.

According to traffic analytics and data firm ZenDrive, more than 60 percent of drivers use their phones during their commutes each day. Houston drivers were on their phones 9.44 percent of the time they are driving, which is the highest in the country. The National Safety Council found distracted driving caused at least 1.6 million traffic collisions in 2018 nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured each day due to distracted driving. The Texas Department of Transportation found the number of distracted driving accidents statewide in 2018 was more than 95,000.

Common Roadway Distractions and How To Avoid Them

Most people think of cell phones when they think of distracted driving. Statistics show roughly ten percent of fatal crashes involved distracted drivers; of those, 14 percent involved a cell phone, which means 86 percent of distracted driving fatalities didn’t involve a phone but rather some other form of distraction.

Causes of Distracted Driving Beyond The Cell Phone Include:

  • Adjusting the controls in your car
  • Children
  • Dancing
  • Drinking non-alcoholic beverages
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Holding an object other than a cell phone, like a pet
  • Interacting with a passenger
  • Listening to music
  • Putting on makeup
  • Rubbernecking
  • Singing
  • Smoking
  • Talking
  • Using a navigation system

Houston Distracted Driving Injury Lawyers

Lawyers often see the worst scenarios of distracted driving, usually ending in a fatality or lifelong injuries. Lawyers routinely see the profound effect on victims’ lives after a driver decides to text and drive. Learn what you can to prevent distracted driving. Doing your part can help mitigate distracted driving accidents and keep our roads safe for all Houstonians, including drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. If you or someone you know does suffer an injury due to the negligence of a distracted driver, we can help.

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Dax F. Garza
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