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Texas Texting and Distracted Driving Laws

August 6, 2014 | Firm News

People send more than 171.3 billion text messages per month in the U.S. and its territories.
Quite a few of these are sent while driving.

When it comes to banning texting while driving Texas is, not surprisingly, one of the nation’s last holdouts. Despite the fact that one in four crashes involves distracted drivers, and a recent survey revealed that six out of 10 Texas drivers support banning texting while driving, this behavior is still mostly legal statewide.

The exceptions: If you’re a novice driver in your first 12 months of driving, you’re prohibited from any cell phone use – talking or texting – while driving. Or if you’re a school bus driver, you can’t use your cell phone while the bus is moving and children are onboard. Nobody is allowed to use handheld devices while in school crossing zones.

Since most drivers are non-school-bus driving adults who spend a minimal amount of time in school crossing zones, this means most people can use their cell phones in most situations while in Texas.

However, you must brush up on your local law. Forty-four states, Washington DC, and many municipalities within Texas have cracked down on cell phone use — especially texting — while driving. Some of the bigger Texas cities that ban texting while driving include Austin, El Paso, Galveston, Brownsville, McAllen and San Antonio. If you drive around the state for fun or business, be sure to research the law before you find yourself facing an unhappy police officer.

Texting and Driving in Texas is Not a Good Idea

Better yet, don’t text and drive, even if you’re in an area where it’s legal. Four hundred and fifty-three (453) Texans died in distracted driving crashes in 2012. That’s more than an eighth of the total 3,328 deaths-by-distracted-driving nationwide that year. Other activities that fall under distracted driving include putting on makeup, opening snacks for children, reading the newspaper and adjusting your car’s stereo system while driving.

Younger drivers commit distracted driving offenses, especially related to their cell phones, in higher numbers than the general population. Perhaps because young people today treat their smart phones as preciously as a body part, it’s harder for them to put phones away while driving.
If You’re in a Distracted Driving Accident
If you’re in an accident caused by a distracted driver, a personal injury attorney can help. You deserve an advocate to stand up for your rights and help you attain justice and fair compensation for damages to your property and body. Call for a free consultation.