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Distracted Drivers In Texas Pose a Serious Safety Threat

Distracted Drivers In Texas Pose a Serious Safety Threat to Everyone on the Road

In the past 3 years alone, there have been more than 94,000 car crashes in Texas that involved distracted drivers, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

This means that about 1 out of every 5 crashes in Texas involves distracted drivers. Furthermore, crashes involving distracted drivers resulted in 18,576 serious injuries and 459 deaths in 2013.  Some studies have found distracted drivers to be as dangerous as drunk drivers.

In fact, researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have found that distracted drivers are four times more likely to get in a crash to cause serious injuries.

What is Distracted Driving?

 According for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving is defined as “driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving.” The CDC groups the types of distracted driving into three main categories:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.

While cellphones are the most common cause of distracted driving, there are various other causes, including:

  • Texting or checking e-mail;
  • Talk on a cellphone;
  • Eating and drinking;
  • Grooming;
  • Reading, including maps;
  • Talking to passengers;
  • Programming a navigation system; and
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player or other audio device.

Texas’s Efforts to Reduce Distracted Driving

In an effort to reduce the number of accidents and resulting injuries and deaths, the Texas Department of Transportation has launched its Talk/Text CRASH campaign. Texas wants to encourage drivers to focus on the road and put down their cell phones while driving. The department uses the month of April, which is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, to help promote its campaign.

As part of the campaign, the agency holds various events throughout Texas “featuring a car-sized, 750-pound crashed phone as the backdrop for guest speakers who will offer insight about loved ones they’ve lost due to talking and texting while driving.” The Texas Department of Transportation also held a Distracted Driving Summit where national experts recommended steps businesses can take to improve safety and reduce financial liability.

Additionally, two cities—Austin and San Antonio—have passed city ordinances prohibiting the use of portable electronic devices while driving and bicycling. This means no texting, checking e-mail, viewing images, or using apps while driving.  The ordinances took effect January 1, 2015, but authorities in both cities will not issue fines until February. Under the ordinances, however, drivers may still use hands-free devices. A violation of the ordinance in Austin will result in a $500 fine and a $200 fine in San Antonio.

Unfortunately, Texas has not passed a statewide measure to ban cellphones while driving. In 2013, then-Texas Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill to ban texting while driving. With a new governor in office, however, some type of legislation banning the use of cellphones while driving may be revisited.

Injured by a Distracted Driver? Contact our Houston Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here

Having recovered the largest verdicts and settlements in Texas on behalf of injured accident victims, our Personal Injury Lawyer have the resources, experienced and commitment to ensure that you are fully compensated for all your injuries and damages.  Unlike at many other law firms, all of our attorneys are trial lawyers, who won’t hesitate to take your case to trial, where our lawyers remain undefeated.

If you or a loved one were injured in a car or truck accident that may have been caused by a distracted driver, our Accident Lawyers can help.

Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation