Everyone knows that texting and driving is dangerous. It kills more than 3,500 people per year in the United States and injures about 400,000 more. The federal government, numerous state and local governments, and many companies have run campaigns to educate people on the risks of texting while driving.
But many people don't know the perils of texting and driving last long after you put your phone down. This is called latency. Our South Bend lawyers at Gardner & Rans have compiled a guide to why it’s so bad:
What is Latency?
Latency is the time it takes your brain to re-engage with driving after you've looked at your phone. You may think you're locked back into driving after you put your phone down, but you're not. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that latency lasts for an average of 27 seconds — that's truly frightening.
The average driver takes their eyes off the road for three to five seconds when they look at their phone. When driving at 55 MPH, that's enough time to travel the length of a football field. If you combine the three to five seconds of looking at your phone with the 27-second latency period, that's at least 30 seconds where your brain is not focused on driving.
And, if you can drive the length of a football field in three to five seconds at 55 MPH, you travel at least 900 yards at that speed while you're looking at your phone and your brain is going through latency. That's more than half a mile. Would you drive half a mile with your eyes closed? Because, when you focus your brain on texting — or checking GPS, or changing your music — that's essentially what you're doing.
This also means that checking your phone at a red light or stop sign also affects your driving, even if you put your phone away before you start moving. Put simply, there is no safe way to look at your phone while driving.
What to Do If You're Injured by a Texting Driver
If you're in a car accident, and the other driver was texting, you may be owed damages for their negligence. In the immediate aftermath, you should make a report to the police, allow EMTs to evaluate you, and go to the hospital to seek further treatment.
Then, you'll want to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer. Your insurance company will go to great lengths to avoid paying you the full compensation you may deserve. At Gardner & Rans, we aggressively pursue every avenue that can help you get what you're owed.
You may be due damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Therapy and rehabilitation
- Home modifications and adaptive technologies necessitated by your injuries
- Lost wages
Schedule Your Free Consultation In South Bend Today
Gardner & Rans is dedicated to helping you recover physically, mentally, emotionally and financially from your car accident. If you were injured in a car accident and are unsure what your case may be worth, call (574) 233-6035 today to schedule a free consultation. We serve South Bend, Georgetown, Ardmore, Gulviore Park and surrounding areas of Indiana.