Austin Texting While Driving Accident Attorneys
According to a 2011 Pew Internet Research study, 73 percent of adult cell phone users send text messages. Text message users, as a group, send or receive an average of 41.5 messages every day. While this may seem like a lot of text messages, the numbers are even higher when looking at only young adults. People ages 18-24 send or receive an average of 109.5 text messages daily. This means that young adults might send or receive around 3,200 messages per month.
It should come as no surprise that some of these text messages are being read or sent by people who are driving in Texas. Sending or reading a text message while operating a vehicle is extremely dangerous. In fact, Distraction.gov indicates that texters have a risk of being involved in a car crash 23 times greater than those who aren’t distracted while driving.
Texting while driving is dangerous not just to the texter, but also to innocent people on the road who could be injured or even killed by a driver who isn’t paying attention. If this has happened to you or a loved one, contact an experienced Texas car accident lawyer at The Bob Richardson Law Firm today for a free consultation. Call us toll free at 800-880-5100 or use our online form. We won’t charge for our services unless we recover for you.
The Dangers of Texting and Driving
The dangers of texting and driving have become very clear in recent years as texting has become more popular. The number of injuries and deaths related to texting is easily understandable when you consider exactly how distracting it is to send or receive a text and drive at the same time. Every time drivers send or receive a text, their eyes are off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. During these long seconds, a driver who is going 55 mph could cover an entire football field — all while his eyes are on the phone instead of the road.
Everyone who texts while behind the wheel — and everyone who shares the road with them — is potentially at risk of becoming involved in a serious distracted driving crash. This means that there are a lot of drivers at risk. In fact, a HealthDay poll revealed that a third of the 2,800 responding drivers had sent or received a text while driving. Of the 2,800 respondents, 18 percent reported regularly sending or receiving texts while driving.
While any driver can become involved in a crash, younger drivers who text more are at an increased risk of causing one. The Insurance Information Institute identified drivers ages 18-24 as the group most likely to text or use a cell phone while driving. Why are teen drivers more likely to be involved in accidents? Teenage girls were more likely than teenage boys to use their phones behind the wheel. Many of these teens may be taking great risks when texting or using their phones, especially as 40 percent of teens responding to a Pew Survey reported that they’d been in the car with another teen who was using a cell phone in a dangerous way. Since teens are new drivers without advanced driving skills, they are least equipped to deal with this type of distraction.
Texas Laws on Texting and Driving
Texas recognizes the risk that young people present when texting and driving, and the legislature has taken steps to curb this dangerous behavior. Section 545.424 of the Texas Code prohibits drivers under age 18 from using any type of wireless communication device while driving.
Texas also places limits on school bus drivers, drivers in school zones and drivers with a learner’s permit. For example, school bus drivers can’t use their cell phone when children are on the bus. Drivers with a learner’s permit have a six-month moratorium on using cell phones when they first learn how to drive. Finally, any driver in a school zone cannot use a wireless communication device.
Unfortunately, these laws may not be enough to prevent texting-related crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has strongly suggested to lawmakers throughout the U.S. that a blanket ban on texting and driving would be a way to save lives and reduce the accident risk. However, no federal law exists; and in Texas, the governor vetoed a bill that would have imposed a statewide ban on texting for all drivers.
Since no such ban is in place, drivers in Texas are allowed to text and drive unless they fall into one of the few groups who can’t. Some Texas cities and counties, however, have their own local bans on texting while driving. Cities with texting bans include Dallas, Austin, Amarillo and San Antonio, among others.
When a Texting Accident Occurs
Accidents caused by texting while driving can result in serious injuries and great devastation, not just to the accident victims, but also to their families. The costs and damages arising from the accident may be paid by the texting driver responsible for the crash, provided it can be shown the driver was negligent.
Even though texting while driving is not illegal for all motorists in all situations in Texas, reckless driving is. Drivers who fail to show a reasonable degree of care when driving may be held responsible for the injuries they cause you or a loved one to suffer in a crash. Our Austin car accident lawyers can help you to determine whether texting while driving played a role in your accident and take immediate steps to protect your rights.
Injured by a Texting Driver? Talk With Our Texas Car Accident Lawyers
Contact the Texas personal injury lawyers at The Bob Richardson Law Firm today for a free consultation. Call us now toll free at 800-880-5100 or use our online contact form. For more than 30 years, we have helped car accident victims in Austin, Waco and the surrounding Texas communities of Round Rock, Georgetown, Killeen, Temple, Cedar Park, Lakeway, Taylor and Belton. Let us put our experience to work for you.