We've all experienced the uncomfortable situation of riding in a friend's car, when he or she whips out a smartphone and starts texting while driving. Considering that scientific studies have shown texting while driving to be almost as dangerous as intoxicated driving, it's natural to be afraid in these circumstances.
But what should a passenger do? Be polite and let the friend text and drive, or speak up and potentially save your life?
Think about the dangers before riding with a texting driver
Car accident statistics in the United States reveal frightening figures relating to cellphone use and car accidents. In the year 2015 alone, approximately 3,500 people died and approximately 391,000 people suffered injuries in auto collisions caused by distracted drivers. In many of these cases, the at-fault drivers were distracted by electronic devices at the time of the collisions.
Considering the statistics, the answer should be simple. Tell them to stop, put their phones away and please pay attention to the road. You can do this in a polite way, saying that it really makes you feel uncomfortable when someone uses a phone while driving. A good friend will understand and put the phone immediately away. If he or she refuses to put the phone away, never ride with the person again. Your life is worth more than a free ride, and it's certainly worth more than your friend's latest Facebook status update.
Did you suffer an injury caused by someone texting and driving?
Countless people die every year as a result of reckless and unlawful texting while driving. If you were hurt by a distracted driver, you might want to investigate your legal rights and options. Whether you were the passenger of the person who was texting and driving, or riding in a different vehicle, the distracted driver who caused your injuries could be liable to pay for the costs associated with medical care and other damages stemming from the accident.