New Texas Texting and Driving Law Becomes Effective
Texting and driving is a serious issue that claims the lives of many victims, and also leads to severe injuries and high economic costs. Drivers in the Lone Star state should be aware of what the new Texas texting and driving law means and how they can avoid the penalties of violating it. The law was previously known as House Bill 62.
What are the Consequences for Breaking the Texas Texting and Driving Law?
Anyone who violates the law which bans wireless communication devices that are handheld such as answering email or instant messaging could be hit with a fine of between $25 to $99 and repeat offenders face higher fines going up to $200.
In the event that the Texas texting and driving law violation causes death or serious injury, the fine can be as steep as $4,000 and offenders may also face the additional consequence of up to a year in jail.
It’s important to realize that the new Texas texting and driving law does not add points to a motorist’s license for violating the handheld communications ban.
What Texting and Driving Accidents Look Like in Texas
This new law replaces any texting ordinances at the local level that were previously in place. Research from the Texas department of Transportation illustrates that distracted driving and handheld devices in particular are a serious problem throughout the state, given that one in five car accidents may include driver distractions such as texting. More than 109,000 crashes in 2016 alone involved distracted driving and up to 3,000 individuals were injured in those vehicle accidents.
Many recent vehicle accidents were caused by drivers posting to social media, watching videos or checking email. Hands-free texting is still permitted by the law and drivers are still allowed to talk on their phone in a hands-free manner, play music, operate their GPS and call authorities to report crimes or for emergency assistance.
Texting and driving accidents can be prevented, but many drivers have a false sense of security about their ability to focus on driving and their phone at the same time. While most people recognize that texting and driving is a dangerous behavior, they often still admit to doing it inside their own car.
Although all age categories of drivers can text and drive at the same time, certain age groups already face higher risks of accident likelihood and admit in higher percentages to texting and driving. Up to 49 percent of teen drivers, for example, admit to sending text messages behind the wheel after first getting their driving license. Three-quarters of teen drivers who admit to texting and driving believe that they are good enough at the habit to do it on a regular basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a Texas texting and driving accident, you may have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim with the help of an attorney.
The lawyers at McDonald Worley thoroughly investigate all car accident claims and provide further information and guidance to people who have suffered injuries. Contact them today for a FREE case review.