The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that at least 25% of all driving fatalities are caused by a distracted driver. Other studies suggest that this number could be as high as 40%. Furthermore, the number of fatalities and serious injuries are increasing every year with a noticeable spike occurring in 2007.
What is bringing about these negative changes? How are so many people allowing themselves to become dangerously distracted while behind the wheel? The obvious answer in this case is actually the right one. Cellphones have become increasingly popular over the last decade, even falling into the hands of children in grade school, and the temptation to read or compose a text or check a Facebook post between red lights too tempting for many drivers. The result is people looking down from the windshield, taking their hands off the steering wheel, and crashing into other vehicles.
In response to the apparently-ever-growing problem of texting and driving, Texas State legislators have passed several laws and regulations that ban mobile devices.
Cellphone bans in Texas State include:
- Bus drivers: A bus driver with anyone on their bus who is under the age of 17 may not use a cellphone or hands-free device.
- Novice drivers: A driver who has less than 12 months of driving experience may not use their cellphone or hands-free device for any reason.
- School zone: A driver within a school zone may not use a cellphone for any reason; there are no age or vehicle exemptions.
Drivers who are pulled over by a law enforcement officer who witnessed them on their cellphone in violation of any of the above bans could be fined $200 to $500. It is also worth noting that certain cities within Texas have created their own citywide ban legislation for cellphone use behind the wheel. If you are concerned about receiving traffic citations while texting and driving, you should check laws within your own city for citywide bans.
Liability in Distracted Driving Accidents
In addition to being illegal, using a smartphone while driving places a great deal of liability on the shoulders of the driver should a car accident occur. The trouble is figuring out if cellphone use was actually happening right at the moment of collision. Dishonest motorists who are aware of the legal penalties for texting and driving may lie and say they were not.
Our Corpus Christi car accident attorneys at Brunkenhoefer, P.C. have been serving clients since 1976. When it comes to distracted driving car accident cases, we know the right steps to discover the evidence you need to show the other driver is entirely liable for your injuries. Contact us today and we can get you started with a free consultation.