Distracted driving ranks as one of the biggest causes of car accidents. Even five seconds of glancing at a cell phone can have devastating results. There are laws against it in Texas and all other states.
Understanding Texas distracted driving laws
Most people automatically think about cell phone use when they think of distracted driving. Although all cell phone use is not strictly prohibited when behind the wheel, texting is banned. In Texas, it is illegal to compose, read or send a text while driving.
While using a phone in hand isn’t against the law, it’s prohibited while driving through a school zone. Younger drivers under 18 are not allowed to use a handheld phone behind the wheel. Drivers who hold learner’s permits are also prohibited from using cell phones while driving within their first six months of doing so.
Texas has no laws against drivers using their cell phones for texting while stopped. However, such activity can be dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians once the light changes to green; a driver may lose focus and not notice them until it’s too late.
Other forms of distracted driving
In addition to texting and using a cell phone for calls, distracted driving has many other forms. Some drivers have no choice but to eat or drink behind the wheel such as truck drivers or those taking long road trips. Focusing on GPS and other vehicle controls or music can take a driver’s attention off the road.
Drivers can become distracted while turning to check on occupants of the backseat; for example, a parent checking on rowdy children could cause distraction. Even being too engaged in a conversation with passengers or daydreaming could be enough to cause distracted driving and a serious car accident.
Avoiding distractions is the best way to be a safe, smart motorist. It can help reduce your risk of a distracted driving accident.