If you are one of many Texas residents who has suffered the loss of a loved one in a fatal motor vehicle collision, you understand the utter devastation such tragedies bring. You may even recall exactly where you were and what you were doing when you received the phone call that informed you there had been an accident. Grieving is a unique process for each person, and hopefully you have been able to reach out for support as you learn to go on in life without your family member.
As the details of the events in your particular situation began to unfold, you may have also learned that a person who was texting or exhibiting some other form of distracted driving behavior was driving the vehicle that hit your loved one. If so, you may have experienced anger alongside your grief. The emotional pain and suffering of such circumstances is often so severe that Texas law allows it to be listed as damages when a family member seeks justice on a decedent's behalf.
Three types of distracted driving that often cause collisions
Many states currently have laws that expressly prohibit using hand-held electronic devices while driving. Unfortunately, that does not stop a lot of people from doing it. You may be surprised to learn that approximately nine people die every day in this nation in distracted driving accidents. The following list shows various types of distraction that are often involved in such collisions:
- Failure to keep eyes on the road: Visual distraction is a major factor in many distracted driving collisions. Operation of a motor vehicle takes tremendous focus and attention, especially nowadays when speed limits are high and traffic is far more congested on average than it was several decades ago. Gazing at off-road scenes or turning to look at rear seat passengers increases the risk for collision.
- Hands not where they should be: This is known as a manual distraction. If your hands are adjusting radio knobs, rummaging through a purse or brief case, or lighting a cigarette, holding a sandwich or doing anything with your hands other than steering your vehicle, it's a manual distraction that may lead to injury.
- Thoughts drifting from task at-hand: Cognitive distractions are not always apparent to others; however, if the person behind the wheel is daydreaming or otherwise distracted in thought, it's often a recipe for disaster.
Nothing can replace the loss of your loved one. People in your situation often reach out for support to help them through the mourning process and come to terms with the impact of their circumstances.
Support resources available
Many communities have family support groups for those who have lost loved ones in sudden death events. You may also have the option of speaking with a licensed counselor or minister as part of your grieving process. On the legal side of things, many Texas residents have sought justice in their loved ones' memories by filing wrongful death claims in court.