Currently, 41 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (Washington, DC) explicitly prohibit text messaging while driving. Texas, however, is not one of them. Over the course of the past several years, a boom in cell phone and handheld device technology has revolutionized the ways in which Americans live their lives. Now, more than ever before, we seem to be constantly plugged in into an alternate world – not to mention constantly distracted by our phones.
Surely, the benefits of cell phones and text messaging are amazing. They have allowed us to easily access and store information, conduct business from nearly any location, and engage in communication at almost all times. These benefits, unfortunately, do not come without negative consequences – in particular, the dangers texting creates on public roads and highways.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – as well as crash reports compiled and published by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) – cell phone use and texting behind the wheel have resulted in devastating repercussions and thousands of accidents, injuries, and fatalities each year. Many researchers and experts find this as no shock, though, seeing as how texting is considered the most dangerous form of driver distraction because it commands a driver's visual, manual, and cognitive attention simultaneously.
While the numbers objectively prove that texting is overwhelmingly dangerous, Texas has still yet to ban texting while driving throughout the state. Only eight other U.S. states have no texting ban. This is not for lack of trying, however. A proposed bill banning texting on the road was recently shot down in April. Before that, a bill was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry. Why? According to Perry, texting while driving may indeed be dangerous, but to enact legislation would be a case of too much government interference.
Although advocates for a texting ban have much to argue with about this statement and about Texas' reluctance to pass a law that would hopefully reduce such alarming accident rates, the fact remains that texting is not explicitly prohibited by law for all drivers. Some laws do exist for certain drivers, though, including:
- A ban on cell phone use and texting for bus drivers
- A ban on cell phone use and texting for novice drivers
- A ban on cell phone use and texting in school zones
Injured by a texting driver in Houston?
Whatever the law may be on texting while driving, nothing changes the fact that text messaging at the wheel is still a careless, negligent, and extremely dangerous act. Just as with drunk driving – which many studies have found to actually be less dangerous than texting while driving – any reasonable person should be aware that when they choose to text behind the wheel, they place others at an increased risk of suffering harm during an accident. Texting is in every way a serious form of negligence and accidents caused by distracted drivers who were texting at the time are entirely preventable.
As texting while driving is negligent and known to be dangerous, victims who are injured by texting drivers have every legal right to pursue a recovery of their damages by filing a personal injury claim. With the assistance of a Houston personal injury attorney from The Daspit Law Firm, victims can secure the support and the proven representation they need to obtain justice and fair compensation. Learn more about your personal injury claim, how you may be eligible to recover monetary compensation, and the ways in which our firm can help by contacting a Houston car accident lawyer today.