When driving while distracted, all it takes is a brief moment of not being mindful and you can easily cause a serious collision. With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month, our McAllen car accident attorneys want to explain the importance of being aware of the laws that protect Texans from distracted drivers.
What Is Considered Distracted Driving?
Anything that takes your attention away from driving can result in distracted driving.
While most states have passed laws banning cell phone usage while driving – whether text or call – many individuals still fail to abide by these rules. These laws are set in place to protect drivers on the road from one another, especially those who fail in their duty of care.
Distractions typically take place when a driver struggles to stay attentive to the roads and conditions due to something else grabbing their attention, such as a cell phone, conversing with others, changing the radio station, or even eating.
While there are no current laws in Texas against the use of cell phones while driving, drivers are not permitted to text while driving. Laws regarding phone use make it illegal to text when behind the wheel.
Recently developed initiatives keep new drivers from finishing their permit or driver’s test without agreeing to complete the Impact Texas Drivers (ITD) program. This program was created to teach new drivers in Texas how distractions can lead to negative consequences.
Texting and Driving In Texas
While any handheld device can provide a distraction to Texas drivers, it is generally the physical act of looking at a cell phone and texting that leads to an accident.
Legally, drivers cannot read, write, or send text messages when behind the wheel. This also applies to email, photo messages, social media platforms, and video chat. What the driver is able to do is come to a complete stop, halt at a red light, and stay at a stop sign while doing these things.
The temporary stay or stop gives the option to text legally in the state as the person is not a danger to others when immobile.
Texas Teenage Drivers
Other laws that impact Texas citizens include the need for young adults and teens to pass particular programs.
There is an Impact Texas Teen Drivers course required for anyone younger than 24. This is an imperative way to prevent distracted drivers and the issues they may bring out for other Texas drivers sharing the roadways.
Individuals must pass the course before they can take their driver’s license exam. These courses help to ensure that the teenager or individual under 24 knows what distractions are and how they can contribute to a collision and severe injury or death.
Distracted Driving Penalties
While some laws require courses, programs, or certification for specific kinds of drivers, there are also penalties for non-compliance to these regulations. Based on the violation, the individual will get a misdemeanor charge with fines that are generally between $25 and $100.
If the same individual repeats the offense, the fees constantly double from the original cost. This could come to around $4000 fines and a year in county prison. Other legal consequences are possible if the driver seriously hurts another person or causes a fatality in an accident.
Skilled McAllen Injury Attorneys That Can Defend Your Rights
If you’ve been involved in a car accident because of a distracted driver’s carelessness, the respected and experienced McAllen car accident lawyers at J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys can assist you in securing compensation for your losses.
At J.Gonzalez Injury Attorneys, we are committed to helping personal injury victims recover financially, physically, and emotionally.