Texas Distracted Driving Laws & Texting While Driving
Almost 2 million accidents occur every year because of Distracted Driving, and that number is only increasing.
In recent years, Texas motorists have seen a considerable spike in accidents involving cell phone usager. Many are asking: Could the new Distracted Driving Law apply to my accident, or put me at risk?
Texting and Driving Put’s YOU at risk, in more ways than one.
It’s no doubt that drivers today are more distracted than ever. Smart phones, smart watches, tablets and other gadgets can be found in almost every car and truck on the road. And unfortunately, many people are using these devices while driving.
Imagine going down the road at 70 MPH, and closing your eyes for three to four seconds. The average person spends at least this much time responding to or reading a text message while driving. In this time, a car travels the length of a football field on most Texas highways. Texting and driving is quickly becoming the distracting and dangerous thing a person can do when behind the wheel. When a person decides to read or respond to a text message while driving, they are putting themselves, and everyone else on the road, in significant danger.
Recent studies show that at least one in five accidents on Texas roads are caused by distracted driving. The most common occurrence being a person using their cell phone. Over 400,000 accidents each year are the result of texting while driving. This number amounts to almost 25% of all accidents, and is only increasing. The activities once considered dangerous while driving, including eating, adjusting the radio, and driving under the influence are now far surpassed by what seems like such an innocent activity – using a cell phone.
Statistics show that texting and driving increases a person’s risk of being in an accident six times more than drinking and driving. The problem is that people don’t realize, or simply refuse to accept this fact. Think about it – most people understand the dangers of driving while intoxicated, and many have been personally affected by it. Cell phones don’t yet carry the same negative stigma, and using one while driving is not as frowned upon by society. But times are changing. More and more each year, people are realizing these dangers, and beginning to act. Society is responding, as well as the legislature.
TEXAS CELL PHONE LAWS
In 2017, Texas enacted a statewide law, banning the use of wireless communication devices for electronic messaging while driving. The law specifies a number of cell phone prohibitions, including:
- Sending or receiving electronic messages
- If driving with a Learner’s Permit, using handheld phones during the first six months of driving
- If under the age of 18, using wireless communications devices of any kind
- If operating a School Bus with children present, using a cell phone in any way while driving
- If in a School Zone, texting or using handheld devices in any manner
In addition, many Texas cities have enacted specific laws which adopt even stricter rules. Many include even holding a cell phone while driving.
Take Responsibility to Avoid Distracted Driving
We understand that cell phones have become an ordinary part of everyday life. Because of this, driving and using them can be a very hard habit to break. You hear that “ding”, and want to check your message. We understand. You probably realize the risk, but tell yourself, “it’s okay, I’ll be careful.” Unfortunately, these are the situations that lead to some of the most devastating accidents and injuries on our roads today. You thinking that you’ll be careful could be the last thought that ever goes through your head. Or worse, it could be the last thought you have before taking the life of another human being. All it takes is a split-second to forever destroy lives.
Please take steps to correct dangerous habits, and ensure that you’re not endangering the lives of other people.
- Try turning you phone on silent when you get in the car. This way, you’re not even tempted to look at it.
- Place it inside the center console, where dings and notifications won’t even catch your attention
- Utilize Bluetooth and handsfree features for calling. Almost every new car comes with these features. Learn to use them, and do so when on the road.
- For those that have to physically check their phone while driving, pull over. This takes just moments, and ensures that you’re not placing yours, or anyone else’s life in danger
- Consider installing Apps which help with safer driving
Considering the big-picture, these slight inconveniences are a small price to pay for saving lives.
Have you been hurt by a Distracted Driver ?
Even with the social and legal changes which are currently taking place, far too many people still utilize their phones for texting and other distracting activities while driving. The consequences of doing so often go far beyond the fines and fees imposed by law. Accidents causing injury or death to another person are only amplified by evidence of distracted driving.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, it is imperative that your attorney understands the importance of researching the issues involved with distracted driving.
The Injury Attorneys at Chandler | Ross, PLLC understand the seriousness and devastating consequences that can result from distracted driving. When evaluating any accident case, we thoroughly examine whether distracted driving may have been at issue. We’ll dig through police reports, speak with witnesses, review video footage, and subpoena phone records to determine whether distracted driving may have been at issue. We can initiate crash-scene investigations, which often help determine the most likely cause or causes of an accident. In our experience, insurance companies recognize the significance of cases involving distracted driving, and understand that juries do not tolerate it.
As the saying goes, “even people who text and drive Hate people who text and drive.”
With offices in Denton, Dallas, and Fort Worth, Texas, Chandler | Ross, PLLC and our Personal Injury Attorneys are well positioned to provide the most effective and highly-skilled representation possible. Don’t wait, and don’t compromise – contact us today for a Free Case Evaluation and see how we can help you. In most cases, you pay nothing unless settle your case or win a verdict. Contact us now at (940) 800-2500 or Support@ChandlerRossLaw.com to schedule your free personal injury case evaluation and consultation.