According to various studies, distracted driving is right up there with drunk driving in terms of risks and dangers. As reported by the Texas Department of Transportation, one in five car accidents in Texas is caused by drivers that are distracted and not paying attention to the road. There are various forms of distracted driving, including:
- Texting while driving
- Talking on the phone while driving
- Any smartphone usage (social media, etc.) while driving
- Eating and drinking while driving
- Putting on makeup while driving
- Playing with the radio while driving
- Interacting with other passengers while driving
Distracted driving and the law
One of the most common forms of distracted driving in Brownsville, as well as the most strictly enforced types of distracted driving, is texting while driving. As of September 2017, the law against texting while driving was officially taken into effect. Texas Legislature’s statewide ban prohibits using a wireless communication device for any type of electronic messaging, including SMS, reading or writing of emails, and so forth. More details pertaining to this law are as follows:
- Drivers are prohibited from sending or reading electronic messages
- Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from any use of wireless communication devices
- School bus drivers are prohibited from cell phone usage while driving when children are present
- All drivers are prohibited from any usage of handheld devices while in a school zone
Regardless of the recently placed laws on wireless communication devices, texting while driving is still a wide-spread problem. Even though tickets are being issued by traffic officers, many texting drivers are going unseen, as this law is one that is particularly difficult to enforce.
What are the penalties for texting and driving?
If one is caught texting and driving, the penalty for first-time offenders is a fine from $25 to $99. If one is a repeat offender of texting while driving, your fine can be raised up to $200. If one causes an accident that leads to serious injury or death and is convicted of texting while driving at the time, they can face charges of up to $4,000 and even up to one year in jail.
Texas is looking to find more ways to strictly enforce this law, in order to avoid more injuries and fatalities due to distracted driving. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2017, 444 fatalities and over 2,800 injuries occurred by the fault of a distracted driver. Lowering the numbers of distracted drivers on the road would help to decrease these tragic numbers.
What to do if you were involved in an accident with a distracted driver?
If you were involved in an accident that was at the fault of a distracted driver, you may have a right to compensation for your financial and physical sufferings. While it can be difficult to convict a driver of being distracted when causing the accident, it is important to have an experienced Brownsville personal injury law firm at your side. Here at Green Law Firm, our trusted legal team can help. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.