The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) claims that distracted driving
is responsible for over 100,000 motor vehicle collisions each year –
and that’s just in Texas! Despite annual awareness campaigns and
increasing legislative measures, Texans just can’t seem to keep
their eyes on the road and off their cell phone screens. In fairness,
this is a national epidemic and not just a state-wide issue; in fact,
cell phone use is reportedly responsible for over 1.6 million accidents
In 2017, the 85th Texas Legislative Session passed a bill that prohibits motorists from
reading, writing, or sending electronic messages while driving. Sadly,
costly fines weren’t enough to stop drivers from using their cell phones.
To protect motorists, South Texas lawmaker Judith Zaffirini has filed a
Senate Bill no. 43, that will override all previous cell phone ordinances if approved during the 86th Texas Legislative Session. According to this bill, all cell phone use
while driving is restricted to voice-operated technology or push-to-talk
functions. Drivers are only allowed to use their hands to activate or
deactivate their hands-free devices, and not while operating a vehicle.
Sgt. Michael Barger of the Austin Police Department explains, “If
you pick up your phone in the city of Austin and you’re not making
an emergency call or taking some sort of emergency action with your phone,
then that is a violation of our city ordinance. If you pick up your phone
and you text, then you’re violating state law.” However, some
critics are concerned about how effectiveness of this law, citing that
previous legislative measures haven’t been able to decrease the
annual fatality and injury rates.
Injured by a Distracted Driver? Schedule a Consultation Today
It takes a driver approximately five seconds to read or send a text. According
to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, that’s “like
driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
In those few seconds, a distracted driver can miss slowing vehicles, merging
traffic, pedestrians, and construction zone warnings.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver,
Austin car accident lawyer at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC. Our firm provides exceptional legal services,
compassionate guidance, and skillful courtroom representation to the residents
of Texas. When your medical bills start piling up, it’s time to
review your legal options and pursue compensation. We can negotiate with
insurance companies and litigate on your behalf in court to secure a beneficial
settlement or verdict.
We’re available 24/7!
Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC at (512) 271-5112 to schedule a consultation.