Fatal Crashes Caused by Distracted Driving & Texting On the Rise

February 9, 2017 Auto Accidents

Our Androids and Apples make life much easier, but they also suck our attention – even while driving. Even one fatality caused by texting while driving is too many, but hundreds have happened over the past few years.

In fact, 2015 brought a sharp increase in car accident fatalities. Our nation lost 35,092 people to traffic accidents. That was a 7.2% increase from 2014 and the largest percentage increase in nearly 5-decades.

What is happening on our roads?

We’re distracted. Fatalities caused by distracted driving rose by 8.8% in 2015. And it’s our young drivers who are most prone to these types of accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers ages 15 to 19 represent the largest proportion of drivers found to be distracted at the time of an accident.

To help keep our teenagers safe on the roads, talk to your teen about the real dangers of texting while driving. Encourage them to shut off their phones while they’re behind the wheel. In fact, you could even install an app on their phone that will block them from texting while driving. One such app designed for parents is called Cellcontrol. It comes with a device that goes under the dashboard and an accompanying app for download. It blocks your teen from sending or receiving texts while driving. It also includes features that can disable other phone features, like emailing or the use of the camera, while driving.

Nationwide we’re seeing an uptick in aggressive legislation to address this critical public safety issue. Currently, 46 states ban texting while driving and 37 states ban cell phone use be teen or novice drivers.

What is the law on texting while driving in Nebraska?

Nebraska law prohibits texting while driving. Specifically, the statute prohibits the use of “a handheld wireless communication devices to read a written communication, manually type a written communication, or send a written communication while operating a motor vehicle while in motion.” Neb. Rev. Stat. § 60-6, 179.01.

Though, this traffic infraction is a secondary action, meaning the driver cannot be cited for this infraction alone. It can only be cited if an officer witnesses some other violation, or if the offending driver is involved in an accident and admits to texting or evidence proves the driver was texting at the time of the accident. Violators will be assessed points on their license, and fines range from $200 for the first offense to $500 for the third and subsequent offences.

How can an attorney help me investigate my car accident case?

Distracted drivers who cause accidents should be held responsible for their actions. When you hire an attorney to represent you in your claim, you will gain additional resources to investigate and prosecute your car accident case.  Attorneys can subpoena phone records to reveal whether the driver was texting immediately before the accident.  In addition, if you hire an attorney as soon as possible after your accident, you can limit the amount of evidence (digital or otherwise) that is lost as time goes on.

If you were involved in an auto accident in Nebraska that you suspect may have been the result of distracted driving, call our office today (402)558-4900 to schedule a free personal injury case consultation.  Our compassionate staff is available to help answer your questions and begin the process of seeking justice in your car accident case. Read what our clients have to say about us here.