Have you ever been driving and noticed another driver who seems distracted? Then you realize why: they’ve been texting or talking on their phone.
Distracted drivers aren’t just a nuisance—their actions cost lives.
That’s why in September 2017, lawmakers in Austin made the move to ban texting and driving. They knew this move would save lives. For this, we are grateful. Our clients who’ve been in accidents because of distracted drivers are grateful. This is progress.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving.
Imagine you’re walking down the street and looking at your phone. You bump into someone. Depending on the size of the people involved in the collision and the speed you are both walking, there could be some serious injuries.
Now, imagine when this happens with two cars. The injuries and damage are going to be much more serious. The speed and power of the two vehicles can wreck lives.
What Are The Statistics?
In 2015 alone, there were 3,477 deaths because of distracted driving in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And these are only the ones that get reported because the reality is, people often hide the fact they were on the phone from the officer.
Here is an even scarier statistic from the Texas Department of Transportation: 1 in every 5 crashes in Texas is caused by distracted drivers! Think about it: 25% of crashes involve distracted driving...that we know of.
At least one person dies every day in Texas as a result of distracted driving. There is no reason for this tragic loss of human life.
The New Statewide Ban
Having gone into effect in September 2017, the ban prohibits drivers from texting and driving in the state of Texas. It defines texting and driving as "reading, writing, or sending text messages". Unless a vehicle is stopped, texting and driving is illegal. Unfortunately, there will still be honking at the folks reading messages at a green light, but this is a step in the right direction.
Violators of the ban will be cited and receive a $25 to $99 fine for a first offense.
In addition, young drivers are now required to have knowledge about the dangers of distracted driving in order to get their licenses.
Where Do We Go From Here?
We continue to create awareness about distracted driving and enforce the laws in place. Bluetooth is still a distraction, and even though it is not against the law, we all need to recognize that there is a difference between an open road in West Texas where there is not a car in sight and the congestion of a Dallas street. Bluetooth can be safely used, but when it is not, it is just as dangerous as texting.
We all must continue to share the dangers of distracted driving with the people in our lives. If you have employees, for example, do not text or email them while you know they are driving, and don’t expect them to respond if you do. The email or text can wait.
At The Button Law Firm, our auto accident lawyers will continue to pursue distracted driving cases to the fullest extent possible. Unfortunately, regardless of the law, people will always violate them. We must continue to hold them accountable so our clients, the actual victims of distracted driving wrecks, will be able to have closure.
Connect with us through the link on this page or call us at 214-699-4409 to talk about your or a loved one’s distracted driving case.