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Texting and Driving And The Legal Complications That You May Face
While most people realize the ill effects of drinking and driving, few understand that texting and driving lead to similar outcomes. When you are distracted on the road, you are more prone to get involved in an accident.
One of the most important aspects of being a driver is giving 100% attention when behind the wheels. If you are distracted even for a fraction of a second, you can miss turns, danger signs, or smaller vehicles overtaking you.
Most states have robust laws for preventing texting and driving. Texas is one of the busiest cities, and that leads to more traffic on its roads. If you are involved in texting while driving, you will face legal actions.
Texting And Driving Accident Statistics
The U.S.A. witnesses more than 2 million car accidents each year. More frightening is that around 3000 people lose their lives, not to mention the damage to public and private properties. When a survey was conducted, some disturbing facts came to light:
- 92% of drivers realize the dangers of texting while driving, but they choose to do it anyway;
- Texting is the top reason for drivers being distracted on the road. If you thought substance abuse is causing more accidents, behold. Replying to your Whatsapp messages and constant updating on social media might be the actual reason;
- More men (29%) are distracted on the roads than women (19%);
- If you are involved in a road accident and found to be guilty, your car insurance and health insurance might be declared void;
- 25% of the accidents in the U.S.A. in 2020 were due to texting while driving;
- Teenagers are constantly getting involved in higher numbers. They often text and miss pedestrians and other drivers leading to serious accidents.
Who Is At Risk?
Texting is a newer habit. Hence, the age group that is at the highest risk is 19-40. For this age bracket, texting is necessary and an addiction. Most surveys conducted recently point to a smartphone addiction syndrome among the younger generation. The urge to remain constantly connected makes them text even when on the road. When they are driving, they put their co-passengers too at risk.
Not only the drivers but even those on the road are also at equal risk. They might be hit by distracted drivers or, in the worst case, run over. There are enough cases where homeless people were run over by distracted drivers. Along with these, public and private are also at risk. You will see broken railings, damaged cars, and lawns near the accident sites—these cost taxpayers money for re-installation.
What Are The Damages Caused?
Damage from distracted driving can be as little as the shattered glasses, leading to deaths! The fatalities can be
- Physical damages like fractures, sprains, and blood loss
- Damage to cars and properties
- Leading to your insurance cover being declared void
- Serious litigations against you if you have caused the accident
What Are The Laws Regarding Texting And Driving In Texas?
Texas has some laid out laws regarding texting and driving. You must adhere to them to stay aloof from the legal cases. Any involvement will cost you a major financial setback regarding the lawyer’s fees, fines, and compensation to the affected person/s.
Let us have a look at the texas texting law:
- Texting while driving has been illegal in Texas since 1st September 2017;
- The law also forbids electronic devices, namely smartphones, from accessing social media accounts or other forms of communication;
- A first-time violation leads to a fine between $25 and $99;
- Second-time violation leads to a fine between $100 and $200;
- If you are involved in a serious accident, you might end up in jail and/or need to pay a fine of $4000;
- Drivers of school buses cannot use their phones in any manner while there are children on the bus.
What are the exceptions?
It is not that the lawmakers do not understand that texting is sometimes necessary. Hence, there are exceptions too. Let us have a look at them. You can text while driving if:
- You use a hands-free voice recognition system. Most web browsers these days come with a voice assistant. You can speak over to them and then send the messages without touching our phone. This way, your attention will remain on the road while answering the messages. Be sure to use them only when necessary;
- You can use your phone for GPS, playing music, and talking while driving;
- You can test if it is an emergency or if you are in a logistics or related field and your job demands you to remain in touch constantly;
- You can text when the vehicle is not in motion.
How can I be caught by the law enforcement agencies?
There are 2 ways in which you can be penalized by the police on the road for distracted driving:
- Primary way: The police may notice you texting while driving on the road. You will be asked to pull over and fined.
- Secondary way: If you get involved in an accident, the police may discover that you were driving while texting and penalize you for distracted driving.
Texas Texting Law: Conclusion
It is important to keep your focus on the road while driving and to understand Texas texting law. Distracted driving puts not only you, as the driver, at risk but also your co-passengers and other drivers on the road. Be sure to stop your vehicle on the roadside before taking up any call or replying to any message.
This will save your as well as others’ lives. Be sure to wear seat belts. Attentive driving leads to safe roads. Always remember that! Being the culprit for a road accident will cause your monetary loss, insurance loss and may lead to serious medical conditions, the worst being death. So, be sure to abide by the road rules when driving.