AUSTIN, Texas. On July 1, Georgia will join 16 other states and the District of Columbia to outlaw the use of hand-held phones while driving. As more people are injured and hurt due to distracted driving, other states have considered following suit. Yet, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in Texas, it remains legal to use a hand-held phone while driving. The only restriction on the use of hand-held phones is on drivers who are in school speed zones. Otherwise, hand-held devices remain legal.
Using hand-held devices while driving can be incredibly dangerous. Holding a phone in one hand to talk means that a driver will only have one hand for driving. The split attention can slow down reaction time and lead to dangerous or deadly situations. When states don’t have a ban on hand-held cell phone use, police officers have a harder time enforcing texting and driving laws. Drivers can always claim that they were not texting but just making a call or changing music on their devices. When states have zero tolerance laws, individuals are barred from touching their cell phones—period. Law enforcement then have an easier time keeping people off their phones while driving.
Should Texas follow the example of other states and make using hand-held cell phones illegal? The public overwhelmingly supports laws restricting cell phone use. According to a recent Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans support laws banning cell phone use while driving. Even in states where hand-held phones are banned, drivers are permitted to use hands free devices.
Texting while driving poses a real risk to other drivers, pedestrians, and to drivers themselves who engage in the practice. Every year, over 3,000 people die due to distracted driving and hundreds of thousands more are injured because people didn’t choose to put down their phones.
Distracted driving is not limited to cell phone use alone. Eating a meal while driving, checking a map, or putting on makeup is also distracted driving. In states where hand-held cell phone use is banned, checking text messages or email while driving is also illegal. Anything that takes your focus off the road while you should be paying attention to it is potentially dangerous. Drivers should be ready to react at all times.
Distracted driving is a serious public health concern. When car accidents happen, victims can suffer traumatic brain injury or other serious injuries.
If you or a loved one was hurt due to the actions of a distracted driver, you may still have options under the law in Texas. The law affords victims of car accidents the right to seek compensation for their lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical costs. If you have been hurt, contact the Robson Law Firm, car accident lawyers in Austin, Texas today. We’ll take the time to review your case and help you fight back. Visit us at https://robsonlawfirm.com/ to learn more.
Robson Law Firm
1114 Lost Creek Boulevard
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 345-8200