Can a driver on their cell phone be responsible for my car wreck?

- Charles Ruhmann

The factors that go into the cause of a car wreck can be painfully clear in some instances, while in others a little more difficult to determine. Cell phone use behind the wheel can often be a contributing factor to a wreck. When a driver engages with their cell phone while behind the wheel, they put other Texas drivers at serious risk for a car wreck. These accidents can result in serious injury.

In 2009, drivers in America spent about 7 percent of their time on the road talking on a cell phone. A similar study determined that the percentage was actually higher, and that drivers actually spent 11 percent of their driving time talking on their phone. When it comes to texting, a 2013 survey revealed that 75 percent of drivers 16 years old and up admitted to reading a text while driving.

Perhaps more alarming is the self-reported 25 percent that said they had sent a text message while driving. The percent of people texting or using their phone while driving shot up 150 percent between 2009 and 2012, and estimates indicate that that number is still rising. In 2012, over 3,000 people were killed in crashes caused by cell phone use.

While it may be difficult to say that a car wreck could absolutely have been avoided if a driver was not on their cell phone at the time, it is certainly possible to imagine that, had a driver been more focused on the road, that a collision may have been avoidable. Texas victims who have suffered a serious or life-altering injury in such a car wreck may now face the seemingly insurmountable burden of hefty medical bills, a decrease in their earning ability and potentially long-lasting pain and suffering. In order to combat related expenses, some injury victims may find that a successfully litigated personal injury claim can be an appropriate step toward recovery.