Statewide Ban on Texting While Driving in Texas
You may see in your review mirror a car barreling toward you, hear the crunch of bumper on bumper, feel your body forced forward – whatever sensation you experience, you know that an accident is a painful and traumatic experience. Unfortunately, car accidents are common in the U.S., with many resulting in serious injury and death. In 2018, nearly 40,000 people lost their lives and about 4.5 million were injured in a traffic collision, according to the National Safety Council.
Many vehicle accidents are caused by distracted drivers, which means a number of collisions could have been avoided if the driver was paying attention. Distracted driving involves any action that requires a driver to take their hands off their steering wheel, their eyes off the road, and their mind off driving. In Texas, almost 110,000 accidents in 2016 were caused by distracted drivers.
Texting while driving, meets all three criteria under the definition of distracted driving, yet sending or receiving a message while driving is common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 481,000 people use their phones while driving.
House Bill 62
Joining the fight to reduce the number of accidents caused by texting and driving, Texas passed House Bill 62, which bans reading, writing, or sending messages while driving. Under this law, which came into effect in September 2017, an individual who is caught texting while driving can be charged with a misdemeanor. They also face fines between $25 and $99 for the first offense, and between $100 and $200 for a second offense.
Drivers under this law are still able to use their phone for emergency calls and can send or receive messages while the vehicle is stopped. Using GPS navigation and music apps on a phone are also allowed.
Many cities in Texas have their own texting and driving ordinances in place and, in some instances, the laws are stricter than those of the statewide ban. However, the state law seeks to put in place a single rule rather than having varying laws in different cities.
Distracted Drivers Can Be Liable for Accidents
Distracted drivers who cause an accident can be held financially responsible for damages. You may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against an individual who was using their cell phone while driving, and you can receive compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses you incurred.
Legal Representation You Can Trust
If you were injured by an individual who was using their phone while driving, our Dallas vehicle accident attorneys are here to provide legal guidance for your case. We understand the difficulties you may be facing after an accident, and we are committed to working hard for you to recover fair compensation for injuries you sustained. We have over 20 years of experience and have successfully helped others obtain favorable outcomes in their cases, and we are prepared to help do the same for you.
Call Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP at (214) 301-5007 or contact us online if you have been involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver.