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As Seen on San Antonio Living: The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Interviewer: Well, unfortunately, car wrecks happen all too often and many of them are caused by distracted driving. Well, this morning we’ve got some tips for you and the young drivers in your household to keep you all safe on the road. Attorney Josh Hatley is joining us from Ketterman Rowland, and Westlund with more. It’s good to see you. Thanks for coming in this morning.

Josh: Well, thank you so much for having me.

Interviewer: You know, that was a slowed-down video of a car accident that we hope none of us are ever in, but it happens to all of us all the time. And we were just talking about it in the break that we’re just so distracted in this day and age, whether, you know, we have something in our hands, we’re eating, we’re texting, which you shouldn’t be doing, but I just have a lot going on in my mind and that keeps me distracted all of the time.

Josh: That’s right. And you actually just hit on all three types of distracted driving that are talked about the most, where you have your visual distractions, your physical distractions and cognitive, which are, you’re like, something’s going on in your brain, you’re thinking about something else. And all of those can affect the way you drive and impair your driving.

Interviewer: Absolutely. And here’s the deal. Studies show that every seven seconds, someone is injured in a car accident and it is likely caused by distracted driving. So, we’ve got some tips for folks this morning to help keep you safe on the road. And this is for people that are my age, also for young drivers because, you know, they are much worse off because they’ve got more to be distracted by in this day and age.

Josh: And that’s so true. And a few people realize how important it is. And, I mean, just this morning I was checking the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s website. I mean, there’s statistics just from 2012 to 2017 says that 20,000 fatalities have been caused by texting and driving and distracted driving.

Interviewer: All right. So, here’s what we need to do. Number one, look far ahead, right? That’s important.

Josh: Absolutely. You always want to be scanning the roadway 12 to 15 seconds ahead, looking for anything that could arise or any situations that might arise that could create what we call a safety-critical event.

Interviewer: Okay. Number two, control your speed.

Josh: Absolutely. If you want to be able to stop in time, you have to be traveling at an appropriate speed for the roadway conditions.

Interviewer: Leave space ahead. I am terrible at this. I tend to tailgate a little bit, Josh, you know.

Josh: It’s okay. I mean, I’ve been driving on San Antonio roadways to know that you’re not alone with that one, but it is imperative when…because one, whether it’s a distracted driver that swerves into your lane or runs a light, by leaving enough space ahead, that gives you enough time to react and stop and avoid being put in a situation where you might need to call someone like myself.

Interviewer: Absolutely. Okay. Keep both hands on the wheel at all times.

Josh: That’s right. And again, that goes back to the physical distractions we were talking about. When you take your hands off the wheel to do something else that you impair your ability to react in a timely fashion.

Interviewer: Take action to avoid driving emergencies. What does that mean?

Josh: I mean, that is, again, just things like putting your phone away when you’re driving. Being prepared, like coming up with a plan if somebody were to swerve into your lane and just scanning ahead just so that you aren’t involved in one of those safety-critical incidents.

Interviewer: Okay. Good to know. Last year Express-News said that San Antonio was one of the worst places in Texas for distracted driving.

Josh: Yeah. And I think all of us, your viewers are probably well aware of that just because you see it every single day. I mean, only 25%, one-third of people will actually report that they do text and drive, but 75% of drivers say that they see it every day.

Interviewer: At what point do we need to contact an attorney if we are in a situation where we’ve had an accident?

Josh: If you’re in an accident and you believe that you’re injured or you just don’t know what to do, it’s always wise to call and consult an attorney and just figure out what your rights are and just make sure that, you know, you have a plan of action or just your questions answered.

Interviewer: Well, thank you so much for coming in. Great information. Jot this number down. Take a look at your screen. Ketterman Rowland, and Westlund here in San Antonio, on San Pedro. Their website, krwlawyers.com. The phone number is (210) 490-4357. It’s 490-HELP. And of course, you can find out more again on their website, krwlawyers.com. All right. Coming up…