Don R. Cotton, a Texas personal injury attorney, says government, industry and drivers can work together to reverse the trend of increased distracted driving fatalities, despite falling overall traffic accident death rates, as found in a new medical journal report.
Austin, Texas – Austin car accident lawyer Don R. Cotton today called on the federal government to encourage the development of technology to reverse the increase in distracted driving accidents on America’s highways after a new study revealed that current measures are proving to be ineffective.
Distracted Driving Accidents in Texas
“We all know that distracted driving causes accidents, injuries and deaths,” said Cotton, an attorney with The Bob Richardson Law Firm in Austin and Waco. “And yet we still see people driving down the road with their eyes, hands and minds on their cell phone instead of where they need to be, focused on driving.”
Cotton cited a recent paper published by West Virginia University researchers in The Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that distracted driving is becoming a bigger problem despite passage of laws aimed at curtailing the dangerous behavior.
“While laws such as bans on texting behind the wheel that are aimed at distracted driving are important, we must find new and creative ways to stop people from driving while distracted,” Cotton said.
“Keeping an Eye on Distracted Driving,” a paper by medical doctors who work with West Virginia University’s Injury Control Research Center, reports that fatalities related to distracted driving increased by 22 percent from 2005-2009, a period during which overall traffic deaths were decreasing.
“Car accident fatalities have been decreasing in recent years, but studies such as this one report an increase in deaths from distracted driving. We must reverse this trend,” Cotton said. “As this problem grows bigger, so must our response and our commitment to stopping distracted driving and the deaths and injuries it causes.”
The authors of “Keeping an Eye on Distracted Driving,” Dr. Jeffery H. Coben and Dr. Motao Zhu, called on the federal government to set new standards which would require the development of technology to curb distractions, including devices that would prevent the use of handheld cell phones in moving cars. The authors also say they expect the problem to get worse, in part because new, inexperienced drivers increasingly see texting and other electronic communication as a major part of their lives.
In a press release, Coben said, “My hope is that 10 years from now, there will be systems built into all automobiles that disable all hand-held devices when the car is in motion, allow only hands-free phone usage and convert incoming text messages to voice and outgoing voice commands to text using hands-free voice recognition technology.”
Cotton said he agrees with Coben and Zhu, and The Bob Richardson Law Firm joins them in their call to investigate new ways to reduce the hazards caused by distracted driving.
“The federal government should mandate the development and implementation of these technologies that will save lives,” he said. “It’s time we take distracted driving in this nation as seriously as we do drunk driving.”
Federal data show that in 2010, 3,092 people died in accidents involving a distracted driver. An estimated additional 416,000 were injured in car crashes where driver distraction was a factor.
Cotton emphasized that motorists who make the decision to drive while distracted are ultimately responsible for their actions. He urged victims of distracted driving accidents to seek advice from qualified distracted driving lawyers such as the ones at The Bob Richardson Law Firm.
“Our attorneys thoroughly investigate accidents and have the experience to handle all types of car accident cases,” he said. “We will work hard to make sure victims of distracted driving get the full and fair compensation they deserve.”
About Our Texas Personal Injury and Social Security Disability Law Firm
The Bob Richardson Law Firm is a highly respected Texas personal injury and Social Security disability law firm. The firm is dedicated to providing skilled and professional legal services to clients in cases involving car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, drunk driving accidents, construction accidents, workplace accidents and slip-and-fall accidents as well as representation to those seeking benefits for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The firm features offices in Austin and Waco* and assists clients throughout Round Rock, Georgetown, Killeen, Temple, Cedar Park, Lakeway, Taylor, Belton and surrounding Texas communities. The firm’s principal office is located at 812 San Antonio St., Suite 510, Austin, TX 78701 (local phone (512) 472-5100). To learn more about The Bob Richardson Law Firm, call 800-880-5100 or use the firm’s online form.