Although Texas does not currently ban texting and driving for all drivers, if passed, a new bill would make this activity illegal.
Many drivers, passengers and pedestrians in Texas are injured or killed every year in distracted driving-related collisions. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2013, 18, 576 people incurred injuries and 459 people were killed in the state in accidents involving a distracted driver. Despite the many people who are injured or killed in these types of collisions, Texas remains as one of the six states in the country that does not prohibit texting and driving for drivers of all ages, states the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
A complete ban may be on the horizon
Although Texas does not currently have a complete ban on texting and driving, a new bill would prohibit all text-based communications, including email, instant messaging, SMS and activities like using Facebook and Twitter, for all drivers, states KXAN.com. However, drivers would still be able to perform text-based activities using a hands-free device or use their cellphone to dial or call or use their GPS if this bill is passed.
This is not the first time a bill of this nature has been introduced in the state. In 2011, a similar version was presented to the state legislature, but Governor Rick Perry vetoed it saying that it is not up to the government to manage the behavior of adults.
These bans don’t necessarily reduce accidents
While this new ban could minimize the number of drivers who participate in this form of distracted driving, research indicates that these policies are not always effective. Researchers at the Highway Loss Data Institute analyzed the number of insurance claims filed under collision coverage in California, Louisiana, Washington and Minnesota before and after the enactment of a texting ban.
Then, researchers compared this data with information collected from surrounding states. At the conclusion of this study, not only did researchers discover that these bans did not have a positive impact on the number of crashes that occurred, but they also found that crashes in three of the four states increased. Some believe that prohibiting texting and driving is ineffective because these bans:
Only focus on forbidding one aspect of distracted driving
Ignore the many other forms of driver distraction that exist
Rely on banning one form of distraction to solve the entire distracted driving problem
Because policies prohibiting texting and driving often do not contribute to solving the distracted driving problem, many drivers in Texas are killed or severely injured in collisions caused by distracted drivers on a regular basis. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, consult with an attorney to find out what legal steps you should take next.
Keywords: texting, distracted, driving, accident, injury