New vehicles in Michigan are equipped with a range of safety features that weren’t available in past decades. Despite modern safety features like lane assist and backup cameras, the number of car accident fatalities continues to go up in the U.S.
There are many different factors that are likely causing the rise in fatal car crashes. One factor is the increasing number of large SUVs, pickup trucks and heavy-duty big rigs on the roads. Another factor in car accident fatality rates is distracted driving, especially texting while behind the wheel.
Texting behind the wheel is one of the most dangerous distractions
Motor vehicle crashes caused by drivers who were texting behind the wheel are completely avoidable. In fact, many jurisdictions have laws against cellphone use while driving. When a driver sends or receives texts, they are distracting themselves on many different levels. Sending or receiving a text requires a driver to:
- Take their hands off the wheel
- Take their eyes off the road
- Think about something other than driving
Smartphone use combines manual, visual, auditory, cognitive and emotional distractions all at once. Hands-free cell phone use and speech-command technology may lessen driver distractions, but it still takes a driver’s mental focus off of the road.
Proving a driver was texting
If you notice another driver texting behind the wheel, it’s a good idea to try to avoid traveling near them. A distracted driver could cause an accident and then try to deny that they were engaging in dangerous behavior before the crash.
There are ways to prove that a driver was texting right before an accident even if they deny it. After you file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you may subpoena cellphone records from their service provider. There may also be traffic camera footage that could prove the at-fault driver was texting.