Every driver should realize the grave dangers of texting or otherwise using a handheld mobile device while driving. However, the results of the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS)1 have indicated that, at any moment during the day, an estimated 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones in some way while they are behind the wheel. In an effort to curb this dangerous driving distraction, the majority of U.S. states and territories have enacted laws prohibiting text-based messaging or even any use of a handheld device. Texas is currently one of only four states2 that does not have an all-driver text message ban though the legislature has been trying to pass such a law in recent months.
Even if Texas does pass a texting and driving ban, new technology can allow drivers to still engage in distracting activities. In recent years, watches have been introduced on the market that have the full capability of most smartphones. These watches have operating systems, messaging, games, apps, media players, GPS, and more. While many individuals may be putting down their phones while they drive, they may still be tempted to use their smartwatch.
Smartwatches can cause the following:
- Visual distraction because you take your eyes off of the road;
- Manual distraction if you remove your hand from the wheel to use the touch screen on your watch;
- Cognitive distraction because your focus changes from driving to manipulating your watch.
Because drivers using smartwatches are engaged in multiple kinds of distraction at once, this distraction is considered to be just as dangerous as texting or other messaging.
A Houston car accident attorney can hold distracted drivers accountable
If you sustain injuries in a collision caused by a distracted driver, you deserve to fully recover for all of your losses. Though distracted drivers will not face criminal citation in Texas yet, they can be held accountable for their actions in civil court. Houston auto accident lawyer Stewart J. Guss stands up for the rights of victims injured by distracted drivers, so please call our office today at 800-898-4877 for a free consultation.