April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month—Stay focused On the Road
Studies show that hundreds of thousands of people take their eyes off the road each year
Distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and causes hundreds of thousands of injuries and thousands of deaths every year in car accidents. It is defined as any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from the road, including texting, talking on the phone, interacting with passengers, eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio or a navigation system, etc.
Texting is by far the biggest distraction, taking someone’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds, and teenagers are the largest group reported as impacted by distracted driving in fatal crashes. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says, taking your eyes off the road to text for five seconds is akin to driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed. According to the NHTSA’s statistics, approximately 660,000 drivers reported using cell phones while driving during daylight hours in 2015 alone, creating serious hazards on the roads.
Distracted Driving Laws in Texas
The state of Texas has laws that address cell phone use. Bus drivers are completely prohibited from using cell phones while driving (including any hands-free devices). Drivers under the age of 18 are also not allowed to use hands-free and hand-held cell phones or any other wireless communications devices. Novice drivers are also prohibited from composing, receiving, or sending texts while driving, and texting is completely banned (for all drivers, regardless of age or the type of vehicle you are driving) in Alamo, Arlington, Austin, Bellaire, Brownsville, Conroe, El Paso, Galveston, Harlingen, Magnolia, McAllen, Mission, Missouri City, Mount Vernon, Nacogdoches, Palmview, Penitas, San Antonio Shoreacres, Stephenville, Tomball, Universal City, and West University Place.
Telltale Signs of Distracted Driving for Police
Police have reported that they look for individuals whose heads are bobbling and glancing up and down, vehicles swerving across lanes, etc. They have indicated that distracted drivers look a lot like drunk drivers on the road.
Get Involved: How to Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents
The NHTSA provides the following recommendations for drivers and passengers:
- Teens: Speak up when you see a friend driving while distracted; encourage your friends to take a pledge not to do so;
- Parents: Lead by example and choose to never drive distracted and to preemptively address the issue with all young drivers in the household;
- Educators & Employers: Help spread the word in schools and workplaces, and ask students and employees to sign pledges never to engage in distracted driving.
Texas Car Accident & Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured due to a distracted driver, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney right away in order to ensure that you are protected in case of medical expenses and future wage loss.
Our lawyers advocate for clients in Houston and throughout surrounding areas who have suffered in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. Contact us today to find out how we can help.