Distracted driving is one of the main causes of car accidents in Texas and throughout the US. When something distracts a driver, he or she often cannot respond quickly enough to changing roadway conditions to avoid an accident. Looking down at a cellphone, for example, could cause a driver to miss a pedestrian crossing the road – leading to a serious pedestrian collision. If you get into an accident with a distracted driver in Texas, contact a lawyer to find out how to proceed with a damage claim. The at-fault party may owe you compensation.

Distracted Driving Statistics in Texas

Safety organizations use crash statistics to shed light on significant problems such as distracted driving. Sharing facts and figures could spread awareness and help reduce the number of distracted drivers on the road in the future. In 2018, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that 18% of all statewide auto accidents stemmed from distracted driving. This equaled a total of 95,572 auto accidents out of 540,561 total in the state in 2018. TxDOT’s definition of distracted driving includes driver inattention and cellphone use. Distracted driving accidents in Texas in 2018 caused 2,340 serious injuries and 394 deaths.

Distracted driving is not a problem that is only local to Texas. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving around the US took 2,841 lives in 2018. These deaths include 400 killed pedestrians and 77 bicyclists. Distracted driving also caused an estimated 400,000 personal injuries around the country. Distracted driving is a significant problem nationwide. It is a serious form of driver negligence that increases the risk of auto accidents. Every driver has a responsibility not to drive distracted. If a distracted driver caused a loved one’s death, speak with a San Antonio wrongful death attorney to discuss how you can hold the negligent party accountable for your loss.

distracted driving accidents in Texas

Texas Distracted Driving Laws

Like most states, Texas has passed distracted driving laws to help reduce the number of distracted individuals on the road. These laws focus on cellphone use behind the wheel. While Texas does not have a specific law prohibiting distracted driving, it has a cellphone ordinance. This ordinance makes it illegal for any driver in the state to use a wireless communications device for messaging purposes while operating a motor vehicle. It is illegal to send and receive text messages while driving in Texas. Drivers with learner’s permits under the age of 18 cannot make phone calls from cellphones while driving. Texas also has laws against reckless driving. If a distraction causes a driver to break roadway rules, that driver could receive a ticket.

Measures Taken Against Distracted Driving in Texas

Texas’ cellphone law is one of the state’s main efforts against distracted driving. It prohibits texting, emailing and other types of messaging on cellphones and similar devices for all drivers in the state. It also prohibits school bus operators from using cellphones if children are present, and all drivers from using handheld devices in school zones.

On June 4, 2019, the state also launched its Heads Up, Texas campaign. This campaign aims to educate drivers about the risks of distracted driving, increasing awareness of this issue to help prevent future such accidents. The campaign included media advertisements, social media marketing, community education and an AT&T “It Can Wait” virtual reality tour. Texas’ efforts to reduce distracted driving may be able to save lives.

What to Do If I Get Hit by a Distracted Driver?

The odds of a distracted driver striking you are unfortunately somewhat high in Texas. Despite laws banning texting and driving and encouraging drivers not to drive distracted, many people break the rules. If you believe the driver that hit you was guilty of distracted driving, consult with a lawyer about your rights. You might have grounds for a third-party car insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Taking the correct legal action from the beginning could lead to reimbursement for losses such as property damages and medical bills. Hire a San Antonio car accident lawyer to help you with each step of your distracted driving accident case in Texas.

Contact the Law Offices of Maloney & Campolo today at (210) 404-7423 for a free consultation.