For Texas motorists, one major concern when getting behind the wheel can be the dangers created by distracted drivers. As the popularity and ownership of smartphones has spread, so has texting while driving and other distracting app usage. Many safety experts have warned that the rise in fatal accidents is tied to the popularity of dangerous distractions on the road. However, phones aren’t the only cause of distracted driving; even built-in entertainment and navigation units can turn a driver’s attention away from the road.

While people widely recognize the hazards posed by distracted driving, they still engage in these behaviors. Consumer Reports conducted a survey and found that over half of all U.S. licensed drivers who have smartphones sometimes text, browse the web or send emails while operating their vehicles. There are a number of technical solutions proposed by smartphone manufacturers and made available for both iPhones and Android devices by app developers; these can identify a “car mode” that blocks incoming notifications and sends auto-replies to incoming texts.

There are also physical actions a driver can take to cut the temptation of distractions while driving. For example, placing the phone out of sight and in an inaccessible location can keep a driver from engaging with the phone at a red light. In a number of states, harsh laws have been passed to thwart texting and driving and other forms of distracted behavior behind the wheel.

Despite the technological advances and widespread knowledge of the problem of distracted driving, it remains a threat to safety and a contributor to serious car accidents. Accident victims who have suffered injuries due to another’s distracted, negligent or dangerous driving can speak with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help injured victims seek compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.