Distracted driving the focus of TxDOT campaign
Distracted driving accidents in Texas remain a serious problem and are a common cause of serious car accidents statewide, according to a recent Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) traffic safety study.
"Research shows that regardless of whether you use a voice-to-text program, hands-free device or a handheld one, the distraction will affect your driving," a recent TxDOT statement said about "Talk. Text. Crash," the state's distracted driving public awareness campaign.
Anything the state can do to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving is welcome news. That's because the legal team at Weinstein Law knows all too well just how dangerous our roads can be when drivers don't focus on driving.
How common are distracted driving accidents in Texas?
Despite repeated warnings, educational campaigns, and laws that ban texting while driving, many car crashes in Texas continue to be caused by distracted drivers. In 2021, nearly 1 out of 5 car accidents in Texas were caused by distracted drivers, according to TxDOT accident statistics. Those collisions resulted in 431 deaths and 2,934 injuries.
TxDOT defines distracted driving as anything that diverts a driver's attention from the road. Many people only think of texting while driving as distracted driving. However, distracted driving can include other activities, including eating while driving, self-grooming (shaving, applying makeup), or even talking to other people in the vehicle while driving.
Younger drivers, in particular, are at a higher risk of distraction when behind the wheel. For example, when a teenager is driving a vehicle, they are 2.5 times more likely to engage in distracted driving and other risky behaviors when there's another teen in the vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition, the NHTSA reported that if there are two or more teen passengers, the teen driver is three times more likely to text while driving or engage in other risky driving behaviors.
What is the texting and driving law in Texas?
Texting and driving has been against the law in Texas since 2017. Under state law, anyone who texts while driving (or reads or writes a text while driving) can be fined $200, according to TxDOT.
In addition, drivers under 18 cannot use a handheld electronic device while driving in Texas. School bus drivers operating a school bus with children on board are also prohibited from using a cellphone while driving in Texas.
How Texas is tackling the distracted driving problem
Texas has taken a tough stance against distracted driving in recent years. The state's "Talk. Text. Crash." educational campaign aims to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in all forms. The public awareness campaign also goes hand-in-hand with the #EndTheStreakTX effort statewide, which refers to the fact that Texas has not had a single day without a traffic fatality since Nov. 7, 2000, according to TxDOT.
The "Talk. Text. Crash" campaign takes a wide-ranging approach to educating drivers in Texas about the dangers of distracted driving. The name of the campaign refers to different types of distracted driving, which can involve talking while driving, texting while driving, and the consequences of such dangerous driving behaviors.
Nationwide, April has been designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
A car accident lawyer can fight to maximize your recovery.
At Weinstein Law, our dedicated legal team understands the complexities of Texas car accident cases and knows how to investigate and gather evidence to support your injury claim or lawsuit. As a result, we can help you understand your legal options and pursue the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
If you were hit and injured by a distracted driver in East Texas, don't make the mistake of trying to handle your legal case on your own. Without the guidance of a skilled car accident attorney, you risk making costly mistakes, missing critical deadlines, and accepting a settlement that falls short of your needs.
Instead, contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer you can count on to fight for the best possible outcome of your case. Located in Athens, TX, our firm proudly serves clients in Henderson County and throughout East Texas. Let us put our experience and dedication to work for you.