Starting on the first of September, 2017, texting and driving will be illegal in Texas. Many other states already prohibit this behavior, and it is just one more step toward making Texas roads safer and more secure for all drivers. Preventing accidents when behind the wheel is very important, and studies have shown that accident rates rise when drivers are texting, because their focus is not as strongly on the road as it otherwise would be. To help reduce the number of innocent people who are hurt or killed in automobile accidents in Texas every year, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law to make texting while driving illegal.
What Are the Specifics of the Texting Law?
Drivers will still be able to text when stopped at traffic lights or in other locations, like parking lots. The bill makes it illegal for them to text while their vehicle is moving. Fines start at $25 for the misdemeanor offense and go to $99, although fines can reach as high as $200 if the person is a repeat offender.
More than 3,000 people were injured in Texas due to driver distractions in 2016, and 455 were killed. Younger drivers had the highest crash rates. The goal of the new law is to ensure that does not happen anymore, and people are putting their phones down and paying attention to their driving when behind the wheel.
While texting isn’t the only distracting behavior that drivers can engage in, it takes their eyes off the road for significant periods of time. That can be much more hazardous than talking to passengers or changing a radio station. Accident rates have risen since texting became popular, which indicates that the texting is a part of the problem that can be addressed with legislation that’s specific to it and what it is doing to drivers on Texas roadways.
Injuries From Texting and Driving Can Be Severe
For anyone who has been struck by a driver who was texting and distracted, the damage can be devastating. Medical bills can pile up, and the injured person may want to seek out the services of a car accident attorney who can help them determine fair and just compensation for their case.
That can make a big difference in an accident victim’s financial future, along with whether that person is able to get the treatment and medical assistance they really need to fully recover from the accident itself. Without as many texting drivers on the road, the chances of being in this type of accident will decrease.
Unfortunately, the legislation will not totally stop people from texting and driving. Some will still do so, and risk the fine and the ticket that comes with it. While the risk of an accident will lessen, drivers should still be vigilant and watch out for others on the road who may be texting or otherwise distracted. Being proactive behind the wheel can make a big difference in whether a driver is involved in an accident or able to avoid it. For those who do get injured by a distracted, texting driver, exploring legal options for recovery may be the right choice.