Texting and Driving: A Deadly Habit
Texting and driving is a dangerous habit that continues to cause accidents and fatalities on Texas roads. Despite the widespread knowledge of the dangers of distracted driving, many drivers still use their phones while driving.
In recognition of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we will explore the dangers of texting and driving, provide statistics on texting while driving, and discuss the laws in Texas regarding distracted driving.
Texting While Driving Statistics
The statistics on texting while driving are alarming. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in 2021, nearly 20 percent of all crashes were caused by distracted drivers. These crashes resulted in 431 deaths and 2,934 serious injuries.
In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.
Other texting and driving facts show the severity of this issue. Drivers who text while driving take their eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Furthermore, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers who use their phones while driving are twice as likely to be involved in a crash than those who do not.
The Consequences of Texting and Driving
Texting and driving can have devastating consequences. When a driver takes their eyes off the road to read or send a text message, they are unable to react to sudden changes in traffic patterns, road conditions, or other hazards. This can result in rear-end collisions, side-swipes, and even head-on collisions, causing serious injuries or fatalities.
In Texas, distracted driving laws have been put in place to deter drivers from using their phones while driving. Texting and driving is illegal in Texas, and drivers who are caught can face fines of up to $99 for a first offense, increasing up to $200 for subsequent offenses. Additionally, if a driver causes an accident while texting, they may be held liable for any resulting damages or injuries.
However, the consequences do not stop with the law. In Texas, distracted driving citations can cause a driver’s insurance rates to go up an average of about $175 per year.
The state’s “no texting” law covers reading, writing, or sending electronic messages while operating a vehicle. Furthermore, drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using their phones in any capacity while driving.
Don’t Text and Drive: Stay Safe on the Road
The best way to stay safe on the road is to avoid texting and driving altogether. If you need to send a text message or make a phone call, pull over to a safe location first.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that texting and driving is not the only form of distracted driving. Any activity that takes a driver’s eyes, hands, or mind off the road can be dangerous, including eating, applying makeup, or adjusting the radio. Studies show that even talking on a hand-free device is a distraction.
Drivers should always prioritize safety and avoid any activity that could lead to distracted driving. By staying focused on the road and avoiding distractions, drivers can reduce their risk of causing an accident or being involved in one.
Injured in a Distracted Driving Crash? Call Thomas J. Henry Law
If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, call Thomas J. Henry to speak with a qualified car accident lawyer.
For more than 30 years, our firm has been committed to helping injured victims secure fair compensation for their accidents and injuries. We have the resources and experience to pursue your case aggressively and effectively.
Our San Antonio car accident attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Call now for your FREE case consultation.