In May, 2017, Texas became the 47th state to ban texting while driving. The law will go into effect on September 1st of this year.
While the law does not prohibit all cell phone use while driving, this is at least a step in the right direction for Texas, which is one of the last states to pass such legislation. The three remaining states that have yet to pass a texting while driving are Arizona, Missouri, and Montana.
The dangers of texting while driving:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 660,000 drivers in the United States are using a cell phone while driving at any given moment during daylight hours.
Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves three types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive.
Texting while driving requires a driver to take his or her eyes off the road for seconds at a time. When driving at 55 miles per hour, a driver can pass the length of a football field when taking his or her eyes off the road for five seconds.
What does the law prohibit?
H.R. 62 prohibits texting while driving, which includes reading or writing text messages. The law does not prohibit texting while the vehicle is stopped at a stoplight.
The law does not prohibit other cell phone-related activities while driving, including making phone calls, using a GPS, surfing the internet, etc.
Come September 1st, individuals who are found to be texting while driving will face fines between $25 and $99. Repeat offenders will face fines between $100 and $200. If distracted driving causes an accident resulting in a serious injury or death, the driver may face fines of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to an impaired or distracted driver, contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.