The Law Offices Of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC
When You Need A Lawyer
Call: 281-407-7445
Se Habla Español • Press 1 To Connect
Menu Contact
Fighting For You Where accident victims turn to after injury We have collected millions for our clients

Distracted driving crisis fueled by ignorance of problem

Last Friday, we noted on this blog that restrictions on the use of smartphones and other handheld devices by truck drivers are enacted to help prevent accidents and save lives. Why, one might ask, are similar laws for passenger vehicles slow to follow? Part of the answer lies in the fact that meaningful data regarding smartphone use and car accidents is difficult to obtain, or simply not being collected at all.

Some big-picture statistics that can be obtained would seem to indicate a major problem. While highway fatalities had been on the decline for many years, they suddenly spiked by almost 15 percent in the past two years. This roughly coincides with a 6 percent increase in smartphone ownership. It also aligns with a 10 percent rise in people using those devices for social media -- i.e., reading stories, sharing images, and other things that require a user to be focused on the device, as opposed to talking on the phone.

Whereas phone calls and even text messages are somewhat traceable, internet use is more of a problem. Officially, less than 2 percent of traffic deaths were connected to cellphone use in 2015, a figure dramatically lower than drunk driving. Yet, it is known that distracted driving causes similar impairment to a driver and is significantly more common these days.

The widespread use of devices behind the wheel contributes to an unfortunate level of social acceptability. This, in turn, makes it harder for legislators to take actions that may be perceived as unpopular. In comparing distracted driving to drunk driving, one advocate bemoaned that "we don't have a breathalyzer for a phone."

For these reasons, it's crucial that distracted driving accident victims and their surviving family members consult an experienced personal injury attorney when seeking compensation from a distracted driver. Officials may feel powerless to take action, but that does not mean that victims are powerless.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Smartphones are killing Americans, but nobody's counting," Oct. 17, 2017

Last Friday, we noted on this blog that restrictions on the use of smartphones and other handheld devices by truck drivers are enacted to help prevent accidents and save lives. Why, one might ask, are similar laws for passenger vehicles slow to follow? Part of the answer lies in the fact that meaningful data regarding smartphone use and car accidents is difficult to obtain, or simply not being collected at all.

Some big-picture statistics that can be obtained would seem to indicate a major problem. While highway fatalities had been on the decline for many years, they suddenly spiked by almost 15 percent in the past two years. This roughly coincides with a 6 percent increase in smartphone ownership. It also aligns with a 10 percent rise in people using those devices for social media -- i.e., reading stories, sharing images, and other things that require a user to be focused on the device, as opposed to talking on the phone.

Whereas phone calls and even text messages are somewhat traceable, internet use is more of a problem. Officially, less than 2 percent of traffic deaths were connected to cellphone use in 2015, a figure dramatically lower than drunk driving. Yet, it is known that distracted driving causes similar impairment to a driver and is significantly more common these days.

The widespread use of devices behind the wheel contributes to an unfortunate level of social acceptability. This, in turn, makes it harder for legislators to take actions that may be perceived as unpopular. In comparing distracted driving to drunk driving, one advocate bemoaned that "we don't have a breathalyzer for a phone."

For these reasons, it's crucial that distracted driving accident victims and their surviving family members consult an experienced personal injury attorney when seeking compensation from a distracted driver. Officials may feel powerless to take action, but that does not mean that victims are powerless.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Smartphones are killing Americans, but nobody's counting," Oct. 17, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Hear From Clients

If you are involved in an auto accident, do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Willie D. Powells! The process is easy and you are made to feel extremely comfortable! The entire staff is very compassionate and cares for the clients and the service is beyond exceptional! Most law offices cannot be contacted after 5 pm nor on the weekends but this one can!! Excellent Firm!! - Katrina

Read More

Making a difference in our community.

Email Us For A Response

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Willie D. Powells III

Our Office

Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC
7322 Southwest Freeway, Suite 2010
Houston, TX 77074

Phone: 281-407-7445
Fax: 713-583-3100
Houston Law Office Map