Austin Texas Motor Vehicle Accidents Blog

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The person who hit me was texting. How can I prove it?

Makers of a new device claim that they can prove if someone was texting while driving. When connected to a phone the device known as a textalyzer can unlock key data such as the exact time a text was sent, a phone call was placed or an app was opened.

But even if it works as its makers claim, the device may still pose a few legal issues. Is the device an invasion of privacy? Would the data derived be admissible in court?

When science tackles drunk driving

It has been said that nothing good happens after 2 a.m. That was certainly true for a man who was driving recently at 3:49 a.m. Of course, nothing good ever happens when you’re driving drunk and turn onto railroad tracks. And it definitely wasn’t good for his car which was struck by a freight train. Fortunately, the man was able to get out of his car before it was hit.

In Texas, as well as the rest of the country, it is illegal to drive if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. For most of us, that means that a woman can reach the .08 threshold after three glasses of Chardonnay. For men up to around 160 pounds, it would take roughly four drinks, and it could be closer to five drinks for those men near 180 pounds.

All it takes is one truck driver nodding off

Just this week, a semi-truck had been driving south on Interstate 35 near San Marcos when it crossed the median and traveled down the embankment. The truck crashed into the concrete supports of the Blanco River bridge. Fortunately, no one was killed in the crash.

However, a victim of a similar incident was not so lucky. In May of 2017, a commercial 18-wheeler struck the back of a teenager’s car on Interstate 35 near Round Rock, Texas. The driver told police he had fallen asleep. The victim now rides in a wheelchair.

Understanding Austin's distracted driving policies

You're driving on a quiet residential street in Austin, but you need to double-check that you are on the right route. You know that you shouldn't check your phone while you drive... but you only need to look at a map for a second or two. Do you pull out your phone?

Using a handheld electronic device like a smartphone or a tablet is not only dangerous but illegal. In 2015, the city of Austin adopted an ordinance that prohibits drivers from using handheld devices for any reason while driving. This includes texting, dialing a phone number, taking a selfie or using a navigation system. If law enforcement officers catch you doing any of these things behind the wheel, you could have some serious consequences on your plate. How serious? Let's go over the Austin's laws regarding distracted driving.

How to prevent your teen from driving while distracted

As their 16th birthday draws nearer, your teen is excitedly waiting for the day they can get their driver's license. As a parent, you are excited for your child to reach this milestone and are probably looking forward to no longer being the family taxi shuttle. However, you may still be worried about your teen's safety behind the wheel when you are no longer there to provide guidance.

Driving is a complex skill that takes time to get good at. Initially, driving involves extreme concentration and focus, but as driving begins to feel more like second nature, drivers devote less attention to driving. A teenager's lack of driving experience coupled with increased risk-taking behavior raises their chance of getting into an accident.

Distracted driving may be more dangerous than drunk driving

The National Highway & Transportation Administration has said that distracted driving may be an even bigger cause of deaths and serious injuries than alcohol.

In 2015, 3,477 people lost their lives because of distractions. Another 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

Five Sobering Facts About Drunk Driving

The average Saturday night can turn into a nightmare if you are not careful with your alcohol intake. When a person chooses to drive after consuming large amounts of alcohol they are putting others at risk. With the influx of alternative transportation applications, you may have thought that drunk driving should not present a problem any longer; however, this is not the case. In fact, not too long ago a suspected drunk driver collided with another car with a baby in the back seat. According to Austin police, the man had bloodshot eyes and was disoriented. Most people know that drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher are consider impaired by law. However, some people choose to ignore this fact and remain on the road. The following is a list of drunk driving facts that are not as commonly known:

Drunk driving crashes demand swift action

Drunk driving is one of the horrors of the roads that can be controlled. People who are drinking have almost certainly seen the terrible accidents that have been caused in the past by drunk drivers. These people almost certainly know that drinking and driving is illegal. All of that doesn't mean much to someone who has been injured in a drunk driving accident or those who have lost a loved one in one of these accidents. The victims of a drunk driving crash might choose to make the driver pay for his or her choice to get on the road after drinking. Whether you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit for the untimely death for your loved one or a personal injury claim for an injury you suffered, we are here to help you learn how you can file your claim. When it comes down to it, the cause of an accident does have an impact on many of these lawsuits. In the case of a drunk driving accident, the fact that the driver was intoxicated can almost always show that the driver was negligent or reckless. We can use that information as part of your case. A civil case against a drunk driver can be launched even if the driver is facing criminal charges. This case could help you to recoup the damages that you suffered because of the accident. It could help you to pay medical bills or get back what money you lost if you were unable to work. We can help you learn how to get the ball rolling.

What to do if you are in an accident with a drunk driver

According to the CDC, almost 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-impaired car accidents in 2014. The most tragic part of this statistic is that drivers who are not intoxicated are more likely to die in an alcohol-impaired accident than intoxicated drivers are. Usually when an accident occurs, proving who was at fault is one of the most important parts of filing insurance claims and seeking injury compensation. When a drunk driving accident occurs, another important piece of the situation is proving that the accident did, in fact, involve alcohol impairment. Here's what you should do if you are in a crash with an intoxicated driver. Get medical help. Drunk accidents are often highly damaging. Before doing anything else, call 911 and get an ambulance on the scene. Even if you are not fatally wounded, there could very well be other injuries that need to be treated or injuries that have not appeared yet. Safety and well-being should be the first priority. Get police on the scene. You should also call for police to examine the crash scene. Especially in an accident involving intoxication, a police report is extremely important for proving your case and recovering compensation. Without a police report, it may be nearly impossible to show sufficient evidence that the other driver was intoxicated past a safe driving level. In Texas, blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) tests are not required. However, they may be used at the discretion of the officer, and they are most commonly conducted when fatal injuries are involved. A BAC test might also be conducted on a deceased driver in the accident to determine if intoxication was involved. Get info from those at the scene. As with any other accident, you should get the other driver's insurance information if you are able to do so. If not, at least get their license plate number. You will also want names and contact information from witnesses so you can gather any reports of what they saw. Witness reports can be a key part of a drunk driving case. Consult a knowledgeable attorney. Any car accident is cause for consideration of an attorney. However, this is even more important in a drunk driving accident. In addition to the usual concerns after a car accident, you will want to be able to prove the driver's intoxication and get just compensation for your situation. An attorney can help gather all the necessary evidence and advocate for you.

Sending a Text Could Mean Liability in a Crash

Distracted driving has become more widespread as technology advances, particularly with texting. Of all the ways a driver can be distracted, texting while driving is the most dangerous because it requires visual, manual and cognitive functions to occur simultaneously. Distracted driving caused the injuries of 431,000 in 2014 and killed over 3,000 nationwide. The high numbers of injuries and fatalities associated with texting while driving is causing a stir to make changes and impose stiffer penalties. Recent court cases suggest that a person who sends a text should be just as liable for a crash as the distracted driver if the sender knew the recipient was driving. Stricter Penalties This idea began in New Jersey, a state known for setting legal trends. Its central premise is based upon a 1959 law where the New Jersey court found that a bar owner could be liable for a crash if they had served alcohol to a minor involved in the accident. This later expanded to include hosts for social gatherings. Now that idea, as it relates to texting, has made its way to a Pennsylvania courtroom regarding another fatal crash involving a distracted driver. This also inspired Pennsylvania's Governor, Tom Wolf (D) to pass a law that could impose an additional five years in jail for any driver who was texting while driving when involved in a fatal crash. Liability of the Sender As the Pennsylvania case moves forward, the suit names not only the individual distracted by the text but also the sender, claiming the sender should have known the recipient was driving. It claims that by knowing the person was driving at the time they sent the text, they contributed to the driver's distraction and negligence-had it not been for the sender's text, the accident may not have happened. The sender doesn't deny sending the text. His attorney, however, argues he had no way of knowing the driver was actually driving at the time he sent the text. The sender also argues that even if the driver read the message while she was driving, that she is solely responsible because she chose to allow the alleged distraction. Will this law affect Texans? The case is set for oral arguments near the end of November. Only time will tell what the outcome of the case will be or if the theory spreads across into other states, including Texas, looking to crack down on texting while driving.

We’re Here To Help. Tell us about your case. We’ll get back to you with a free consultation so you can start moving forward.


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