Distracted Driving Laws in Texas
Distracted Driving Should Be a Growing Concern for Many Drivers
Given the likelihood of a car accident taking place in Texas, it is no wonder organizations throughout the state are doing their part in raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Thanks in part to our tech-centric society, we are bearing witness to more distracted driving accidents than ever before.
Distracted Driving Statistics
In 2017 alone, 3,166 people died in distracted driving accidents across the United States. In the Lone Star State, there were 109,658 traffic incidents caused by distracted driving, 455 of which were fatal. This means that one person was killed every 2 hours and 21 minutes in Texas. If these numbers come as a shock, you aren’t alone. Many people do not realize the seriousness of driving while texting or distracted in some other manner. Unfortunately, even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds could be deadly. Distracted driving not only puts you and your passengers at risk, but other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is defined as any action or activity that takes your attention away from the road and driving. There are several different types of distracted driving, including:
- Visual – When you take your eyes off the road
- Manual – When you take your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – When you take your mind off the act of driving
One of the most obvious examples of distracted driving right now is texting. According to the National Safety Council, texting or talking on a cell phone while driving contributes to 1.6 million accidents every year. When you send or read a text message, it takes your eyes off the road for a minimum of 5 seconds. Depending on your speed, this could mean you have traveled the length of a football field – or more – with your eyes off the road. As we saw with the statistics earlier, the results are often catastrophic when distracted driving occurs.
What Are the Distracted Driving Laws in Texas?
To better understand the potential dangers of distracted driving, it may help to look at the distracted driving laws here in Texas:
- Effective September 1, 2017, texting while driving was made illegal in the state of Texas
- All drivers under the age of 18 cannot use wireless communication devices, such as phones
- Drivers with their learner’s permit are prohibited to use their cellphone in the first six months
- School bus drivers cannot use their cellphone when operating the vehicle
- Smartphone use is prohibited in school zones
Although Texas banned texting while driving nearly two years ago, we are still seeing young and old drivers alike make the poor decision to use their phone while behind the wheel of a car. Making the decision to drive while texting or distracted in some other way could put the lives of countless individuals in danger.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Texas that was caused by a distracted driver, contact Rad Law Firm today and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.