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Texting While Driving

Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Steve Ferrell handles lawsuits involving texting while driving.

The Ferrell Law Firm, P.C. handles cases involving texting while driving and inappropriate cell phone use while driving. Many of these cases involve deaths or serious injuries.

Steve Ferrell is Double Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law.

Steve Ferrell handles texting accident cases all over Texas, including, Houston, Harris County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Bexar County, Comal County, Travis County, Dallas County, Jefferson County, and many others.

Researchers at the Texas A&M University-based institute analyzed Fatality Analysis Reporting System data collected by by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 1999 through 2008, the most recent 10-year period available, and found that cell phone use, while documented more recently as a troubling driving distraction, is not always collected uniformly as a factor in police reports, the basis of the federal data examined for the study.

There is, however, substantial evidence demonstrating that cell phone  use, which includes texting while driving, is growing rapidly (far more quickly for teenagers than it is for individuals age 20 and older) and that much of that use takes place behind the wheel, the study’s authors wrote. “Clearly, the use of a cell phone complicates the driving task substantially for all drivers. The effects of this risk factor are compounded by the compromised vision and fatigue that characterize the nighttime driving environment, and for teenagers, the problem is further exacerbated by a lack of driving experience.” A recent survey  survey by the Texas Transportation Institute found that 85% of Texas drivers say that texting or talking on a phone while driving is worse than it was five years ago.

And teenagers aren’t the only ones who are so addicted to texting that they text while driving.  Adults are just as guilty.

A study recently released by The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project says adults and teenagers are equally likely to have texted while driving. And adults are more likely to have chatted on their phones while driving.

The study found that 47 percent of adults who text reported sending or reading texts while behind the wheel. In a 2009 Pew study, a lower number, 34 percent, of 16- and 17-year-olds who send texts said that they did that while driving.

Because not everyone has a phone or sends texts, the report said the findings indicate that 27 percent of all U.S. adults have sent or read texts while driving and 26 percent of all U.S. 16- and 17-year-olds have done so.

The study also found that adults are much more likely to chat on their phones while driving: 75 percent of adults with mobile phones said they talked and drove. Fifty-two percent of teenagers with cell phones said they did so in last year’s study.

That would translate into a finding that 61 percent of all U.S. adults talk on the phone while driving, while the 2009 study indicates that 43 percent of all 16- and 17-year-olds do likewise.

Mary Madden, a senior research specialist for Pew and the study’s lead author, said that while many educational efforts that emphasize the dangers of distracted driving have targeted teens, the findings show a need to educate adults, too.

“I think all of us can identify with that temptation to stay connected during those idle moments in the car. … The reality is, even if the car isn’t moving, a delayed response to a green light or at a stop sign can still result in an accident,” she said.

In 2009 NHTSA published a research note stating among other things:
• Driver distraction was involved in 16 % of fatal crashes
• The under 20 age group is most likely to be involved in a fatal distracted driving accident
• 21 percent of injury accidents is estimated to be attributed to distracted driving

Without widespread public education programs reminding the driving public of the dangers associated with texting while driving, those figures are bound to increase.

AT&T has produced a new ten minute documentary illustrating the dangers of texting while driving.  The documentary entitled “The Last Text,” features stories of real individuals whose lives have been adversely affected by texting behind the wheel. AT&T created this documentary as part of its “It Can Wait” campaign.  You can view the documentary film at:

The Ferrell Law Firm, P.C. highly recommends that every driver watch this video.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident caused by inappropriate cell phone use or texting while driving, call The Ferrell Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation. We don’t charge a fee unless you make a recovery. Call us today at (713) 800-0220. We handle these cases all over Texas.