A vehicle collision with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or stationary object such as a tree, is deemed an auto accident. There are a number of factors that can cause or contribute to these accidents including speed and driver skill. However, the most dangerous form of driver distraction is probably texting while driving. As a McAllen personal injury attorney, we see the consequences of distracted driving and have outlined some details below that you should know about texting while driving.
What is Distracted Driving?
An activity that could sidetrack someone’s attention from the main task of driving, such as texting while driving, is distracted driving.
- According to the Texas Department of Transportation, over 100,000 traffic crashes in Texas every year involve distracted driving.
- Textinganddrivingsafety.com also states that driving while texting makes auto accidents up to 23 times more likely to happen.
Is Distracted Driving Illegal in Texas?
Technically, Texas does not have a state-wide law prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving. However, more than 60 cities in Texas – including Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville, and McAllen – have banned the use of handheld devices while driving.
As a state, Texas prohibits the use of handheld devices in school zones, and also prohibits school bus drivers from using handheld device while driving. The unfortunate part is that this law only applies to a particular group of drivers, even though driving and texting at the same time affects everyone on the road. Other Texas-wide laws regarding distracted driving include:
- During the first six months of driving, it is illegal for drivers with learners’ permits to use handheld cell phones while driving
- It is illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use wireless communication devices while driving
Depending on the city, fines for simultaneously driving and texting range anywhere from $200 to $500, and are applicable to the following cell phone ordinances:
- Ban on driving while texting
- Ban on using wireless communications devices while driving
- Ban on manual usage of wireless communication devices and ban on texting while driving
Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it requires the driver’s full attention – manual, visual, and cognitive. It’s considered very dangerous throughout the United States, which is why many States and cities such as Brownsville and McAllen have laws in place against it. If you are a victim of an auto accident caused by another person texting while driving, you already have a strong case.
Contact Tijerina Legal Group P.C. today for a free consultation with an experienced McAllen personal injury attorney.