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Hands-Free Devices Affect Auto Accident Liability

Distracted driving is a problem throughout the country. Many states have made it illegal to use a hand-held cell phone or other devices while operating a vehicle. A person can receive fines if they violate this law, but they may also be subject to a lawsuit if they cause a car accident.

Driving While Using Hand-Held Devices Can Result in Accidents

When a person causes a car accident as a result of distraction (for example, due to using a hand-held device like a cell phone) the other party can sue them for liability. Essentially, the plaintiff is required to prove that the other driver caused the accident due to negligence or careless driving.

It’s important to understand the definition of careless driving as a result of using a hand-held device. The following are examples:

Operating a vehicle with only one hand touching the steering wheel
  • Removing one’s eyes off the road to use a cell phone to make or answer a call, make or read a text message, or even simply reaching for the device

  • Failing to properly maintain attention on the road and other potential dangers due to distraction through cell phone usage, including those from a passenger’s phone

  • Being distracted by a phone conversation, especially one that is highly emotional in nature and subsequently driving recklessly (even if the driver is using the phone hands-free)

Texting While Driving and the Law

In Texas, no texting while driving did not become a statewide law until 2017. Specifically, the act of composing texts, reading text messages and sending other messages from a cell phone while behind the wheel is prohibited. Individuals who violate this law can receive a $99 fine in their first offense and fines of $200 for additional offenses.

Other Hand-Held Devices and Distracted Driving

In spite of the high rate of accidents due to distracted driving, talking on a cell phone and using a GPS device is legal while behind the wheel. These actions, as well as eating and drinking and other habits, can result in one’s attention being shifted off the road and increases the risk of an accident.

If you were injured in a car accident with a distracted driver who was using a hand-held device, you need to get in touch with a personal injury attorney. The driver is liable for compensating you for your medical expenses, lost wages and other damages due to their negligence.

Call (915) 308-8850 now for a free consultation for your case!