In the last couple of decades cell phones have rapidly changed the way many motorists focus when they drive. They allow drivers to multi-task by making phone calls, navigating road trips, listening to books or music or browsing social media. Unfortunately, they have also resulted in large number of distracted driving accidents. Recently, Texas law makers have passed a law making it illegal to text and drive.
According to statistics, over 100,000 accidents occurred last year due to drivers who were distracted by their cell phones or other various reasons. Sadly, almost 500 people died and thousands were injured last year as a result. Specifically texting while driving significantly increases a driver's chance of being involved in an accident.
Some cities had passed ordinances limiting cell phone use while operating a vehicle, but until the recent law was passed, it was not statewide. If an officer spots a driver texting, reading, sending or writing anything on a cell phone or similar device, a driver may be issued a traffic citation. Citations can cost a driver anywhere from $25 to $200, depending on how many offenses they have. The law did clarify that music and navigation aides may be used on an electronic device while driving.
A traffic citation for distracted driving due to the use of an electronic device may be considered minimal to the offender, but the cost is significant and possibly fatal for anyone who is involved in an accident as a result of cell phone use. Any car accident can result in property damage and medical expenses. Texas personal injury attorneys can offer advice to any victims of an unfortunate distracted driving accidents of their rights and legal options for possible financial compensation from presumed negligent parties.
Source: marlindemocrat.com, "Hands Free Law in effect as of Sept. 1", Dennis Phillips, Sept. 6, 2017