After the tragic death of a young man from Boulder who passed away in a car accident after texting while driving, increased attention is focused on the dangers of distracted driving in Colorado. The accident happened in the same month that a new study was released showing that voice-activated texting is no safer than typing a text message while driving, contributing to the risk of a distracted driving accident.
In April 2013, a 22-year-old Boulder man was killed in a car accident after texting behind the wheel. According to Colorado Daily, witnesses say he drifted close to oncoming traffic with his head down, then looked up and corrected to the right side of the road, where his car left the pavement and rolled over into a ditch. Police recovered his cellphone from the vehicle with a cut-off text message typed out, and now his family is urging people to drive safely and not text while driving.
Study analyzed voice-activated texting while driving
In fact, a new study from Texas A&M University’s Texas Transportation Institute shows that texting while driving, whether by manually typing or through voice-activated software, continues to endanger those on the road. In the study, 43 drivers of different ages drove on a closed course four times. The first time the drivers completed the course without texting. The second time the drivers texted with their hands. Finally, for the third and fourth rounds, the drivers texted using voice-activated software on an Apple iPhone and then a Samsung Android phone. The Washington Post reports that the challenge included both sending and reading text messages.
The study found that the drivers took nearly twice as long to react when they were texting, regardless of whether they used voice-activated software. The study also found that the drivers made less eye contact with the road when texting in either form. Even though the drivers reported feeling safer when they used voice-activated software to text, the study found it made no difference.
Legal recourse for distracted driving accidents
Distracted driving can take many forms – from using a cellphone, to changing the music, to dealing with backseat passengers – and sometimes people are injured by drivers who are not paying as much attention to driving as they should be. If a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian is injured by a distracted driver who was driving without due care for safety, the injured person may be able to obtain compensation for his or her injuries, medical expenses and lost wages through a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, contact a Denver personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.