Addiction to Distracted Driving Causes Danger Despite Laws Against It

Addiction to Distracted Driving Causes Danger Despite Laws Against It

Posted on | Categories: Car Accidents

Our cell phones have become central to how we interact with the world. In fact, statistics show that the average person checks their phone 80 times a day, or every 12 minutes on average.

This habit, unfortunately, does not stop when people get behind the wheel. Cell phone use while driving often isn’t just checking the phone either. Texting, taking photos, using social media, playing games, talking, and other activities are extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injury accidents.

In Texas in 2017, a full 19% of car accidents were the result of a distracted driver, a number that has remained consistently high in recent years.

Texas Laws on Distracted Driving

 Texas, like the vast majority of states, has certain laws in place against using cell phones while driving. Those under 18 are not allowed to use their phones at all. This applies to hand-held and hands-free cell phones alike. The same ban is in place for bus drivers.

Other drivers are allowed to use cell phones while driving, although there are exceptions. For instance, it is against the law for any driver to use a cell phone in a school zone. Certain cities in Texas have also banned the use of cell phones while driving for all drivers. Major cities with bans include: Arlington, Austin, El Paso, Galveston, and San Antonio. The list also includes many smaller towns and cities, such as:

  • Alice, TX;
  • Amarillo, TX;
  • Anthony, TX;
  • Aransas Pass, TX;
  • Argyle, TX;
  • Bedford, TX;
  • Bee Cave, TX;
  • Boerne, TX;
  • Buda, TX;
  • Corpus Christi, TX;
  • Deer Park, TX;
  • Denton, TX;
  • Floresville, TX;
  • Garden Ridge, TX;
  • Hill Country Village, TX;
  • Hurst, TX;
  • Kingsville, TX;
  • Kyle, TX;
  • Lake Dallas, TX;
  • Lake Tanglewood, TX;
  • Lakeway, TX;
  • Laredo, TX;
  • Liberty Hill, TX;
  • Little Elm, TX;
  • Midlothian, TX;
  • Mont Belvieu, TX;
  • New Braunfels, TX;
  • Port Aransas, TX;
  • Rollingwood, TX;
  • San Juan, TX;
  • San Marcos, TX;
  • Schertz, TX;
  • Sinton, TX;
  • Socorro, TX;
  • Sunset Valley, TX;
  • Universal City, TX;
  • Watauga, TX;
  • Wichita Falls, TX; and
  • Wimberley, TX.

Additionally, effective September 1, 2017, the Texas Legislature enacted Texas Transportation Code § 545.4521, which bans drivers from engaging in “electronic messaging” while behind the wheel.  The ban applies to text messaging and communicating via iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or any other app permitting the user to communicate electronically via the written word.  Violations of the ban are punishable as follows:

  • The first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of at least $25.00 and not more than $99.00;
  • Subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of at least $100.00 and not more than $200.00; and
  • If the distracted driver causes the death or serious bodily injury of another person, the offense is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000.00 and confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year.

Liability for Crashes Caused by Distracted Drivers

 Those who drive while using a cell phone and consequently cause an accident may be found liable for the expenses related to that crash, including those for medical bills, lost wages, damage to vehicles and other property, and pain and suffering.

However, liability has to be proven, and that requires a personal injury lawyer with experience with distracted driving cases. While the courts have at times been very willing to assign liability to those who were distracted by their phones, it is not a foregone conclusion. That’s why every effort must be made to get help from an experienced distracted driving accident lawyer in your area.

Contact a Lawyer to Learn More About Your Rights after a Distracted Driver Accident

If you have been harmed in a crash caused by a distracted driver in Longview, Houston or elsewhere in Texas, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at the Sloan Firm. What matters to you, matters to us, which is why our distracted driving accident attorneys are ready to listen to your story and help you determine the right course of action for your case.

Our trial lawyers have the experience you need on your side if you’ve been hurt by a distracted driver in Texas. We know how to build a strong, persuasive case on your behalf to help you get the compensation you need to rebuild and move on with your life. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by calling us, chatting with us live, or by filling out a contact form on our site today.