In 2017, the Texas legislature banned anyone operating a motor vehicle from using a wireless communication device like a cell phone. Texting, emailing, or even reading a phone while driving is illegal in Texas.
Austin has a higher number of cellular phone users than the national average. Cell phones provide increased convenience, with the ability to communicate, run a GPS and look up information, all from the comfort of your car.
But along with the increased convenience these phones provide, Austin has seen a rise in distracted driving connected to cell phone use. The Texas Department of Transportation records show that 20% of Texas auto accidents are related to distracted driving.
Research by engineers and transportation experts find that driving while using a cell phone is particularly dangerous. This is because it not only distracts the driver from seeing the road when they look at the phone. Just speaking on the phone or composing a text message also diverts the drivers’ attention from all the risks on the road. Many have called it a national epidemic.
Many law enforcement and health officials have tried to raise the alarm about texting while driving. The Center for Disease control and the U.S. Department of Transportation put out reports and warnings.
The Texas Department of Transportation has mounted its Talk, Text, Crash public awareness program targeted specifically at the dangers of texting while driving. Nonetheless, distracted driving continues to cause one out of every five car accidents in Texas. Even alert and conscientious motorists, truckers, bicyclists or pedestrians can become the victims of drivers who are impaired, drowsy or negligent in the maintenance of their vehicles.
There is no excuse for texting and driving. It’s unwise, it’s dangerous and it’s illegal.
If you have been in an auto accident because of another driver’s texting or other distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and property damage. Speak to an experienced Austin car accident attorney at Justinian & Associates to understand your options. The consultation is free and there is never any obligation.