Texas is home to some of the most dangerous interstates in the country. In an effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatality rates, the Texas Department of Transportation created a campaign to bring awareness to the need for safer driving practices. While well-intentioned, the specific ways the organization decided to do this actually led to a higher rate of accidents in some areas.
Dangerous driving comes in many forms. Speeding, aggressive driving, drowsy driving and drunk driving are only a few reasons that car accidents happen. Distraction is also one of the leading causes of preventable crashes. Authorities hoped that electronic signs along the interstates that flash accident statistics would bring awareness to road safety and reduce accidents. A closer look found that it had the opposite effect.
Good intentions, bad results
As a Texas driver, maybe you’ve seen these signs in different areas or similar ones, perhaps warning you of traffic issues or construction zones ahead. You know that, by reading these signs, even for a second, you are taking your eyes off the road. Even a moment of distraction can lead to devastating consequences, and lawmakers have found this was an unintended consequence of their safety efforts. A study found that showcasing accident statistics in this way is more likely to take a driver’s attention off more pressing safety concerns.
A study looked at these signs in order to determine how effective they were in increasing safer driving throughout the state. They were surprised to find that accident rates went in the wrong direction, actually increasing after putting the signs in place. The study found that the result of the signs was actually similar to if they had increased the speed limit by three to five miles per hour. Ultimately, these signs caused distraction, leading to a higher chance that accidents would occur.
Fighting distracted driving the right way
Distracted driving is preventable and inexcusable. If you are the victim of an accident caused by distracted driving, even if it was due to a Texas road sign, you have legal options available to you. You have grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim, allowing you to seek recuperation of your financial losses and non-economic damages. To further explore this option, you may benefit from an assessment of your case as soon as possible after an accident.