The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety rates state traffic laws across the United States in 15 separate categories, such as Occupant Protection, Teen Driving, and Enforcement. There are several areas where Texas falls short, and the most notable is in the Distracted Driving category. It is important to note Texas does not have a ban on texting unlike most others. The only states that do not have any protection laws aside from Texas are Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. While there is a statewide proposed ban planned to go before Texas lawmakers, similar proposals have failed several times before.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2015 there were 3,477 people killed and 391,000 people injured in crashes caused by a distracted driver. The average person sending or reading a text message spends 4.6 seconds with their eyes off the road, which the study described as driving the length of a football field blind at 55 miles per hour. This means that the average driver is driving miles and miles and miles “blind” when they are texting and driving.
States are rated by a three color system drivers are accustomed to: green, yellow, and red. Texas is rated yellow along with 28 other states, which means it needs improvement due to gaps in recommended laws. Alongside this, the study also lists the economic cost due to crashes and the annual cost for Texas is just over 17 billion.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.