Today, everyone has a cellphone. And unfortunately, too many people are texting or looking at their cell phone while driving. In 2021, distracted driving deaths in Texas increased 17%. Nearly one in five crashes were caused by a distracted driver in Texas. The latest statistics show that over 23% of people text and drive. It has become such a problem in today’s society, that the chances of being involved in an accident are 6 times higher when one of the parties is texting than if the person is drunk. And reaction times for people texting and driving are equal to those of a person who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit. This shows why texting and driving is so dangerous.
The law regarding 18-wheeler drivers texting and driving
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation implemented a law that drivers of interstate commercial motor vehicles were prohibited from using cell phones during the operation of their vehicle. As the Secretary of Transportation at the time said, “When drivers of large trucks, buses, and hazardous material taken their eyes off the road for even a few seconds, the outcome ban be deadly.”
Statistics on texting and driving
Nearly one in five crashes on Texas roads in 2020 were caused by a distracted driver. In those collisions, 367 people died and 2,205 were seriously injured in Texas. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said 3,142 people were killed in the United States in 2020 by distracted drivers. Sending or receiving a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. If you are traveling down the road at 55 mph, it’s like driving an entire football field with your eyes closed!
Laws in Texas on texting and driving
- A person cannot read, write, or send text messages while operating a motor vehicle unless the vehicle is stopped;
- This does not prohibit talking on a cell phone;
- A person cannot use a cell phone (text or voice) in a school zone when the school zone is in effect unless their vehicle is stopped or they are using a hands-free device;
- A school bus driver is prohibited from using a cell phone while operating a school bus;
- Drivers with learner’s permit are prohibited from using cell phones in the first 6 months of driving; and
- Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using handheld devices while driving.
If you need to text, pull over and send that text. With the advent of Bluetooth technology, there is no reason for you to take your eyes off the road to read or send a text. Don’t become a statistic by texting and driving.
If you were injured in a car wreck or tractor-trailer collision where the other person was texting or driving distracted, you should consult an attorney so it can be proven that the other person was distracted while driving. This could increase the amount of your recovery.
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