Do Not Text While Driving

Smartphones have revolutionized the way we talk to others.  Instead of having to talk to a person face-to-face, you can convey your message through a detailed text. Today’s technology even allows us to verbalize a text message without pushing a button.  That is wonderful.  What is not wonderful is that many drivers try to text and drive at the same time. Texting while driving is dangerous, and it is rapidly becoming one of the most common reasons someone calls a car accident lawyer.  The reason is simple:  it takes your eyes off the road for a minimum of five seconds, which is plenty of time for an accident to occur. Even worse, anyone that texts while driving is up to 23 times more likely to get in a car accident.  For comparison, someone dialing a phone while driving is nearly three times more likely to get in a crash, while those talking or simply reaching for their phone are about one-and-a-half times more likely to crash. Those numbers are staggering.  Texting while driving is nearly eight times more dangerous than dialing your phone while driving, and 15 times more dangerous than talking on your phone while driving.  Therefore, it is no wonder that there is a big push to ban texting while driving across the United States.  However, as the statistics clearly demonstrate, any cell phone use while driving is unsafe. In 2011, at least 23% of all auto accidents involved cell phones.  That represents more than one million accidents.   Which is one million accidents too many. As things currently stand, most lawmakers understand the danger of allowing new drivers to use cell phones while driving, as it is illegal in 32 states.  The problem is they have faced significant resistance when it comes to banning cell phone use by experienced drivers.  For example, in 2011, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill passed by Texas lawmakers that would have made texting while driving illegal.  Right now, only 10 states prohibit anyone from using handheld cell phones while driving. That number needs to go up, and soon. On a better note, states are getting the message when it comes to texting while driving, as 39 states have banned text messaging for all drivers. Unfortunately, because of Gov. Perry’s veto, as of right now, that does not include Texas.  At this moment, only novice drivers with an intermediate license are prohibited from texting while driving.  Since an intermediate license only covers the first 12 months of driving, that means novice drivers can text while driving after a year behind the wheel. Now, that said, change may be on the way in the Lone Star State.  In November, a bill to ban texting while driving in Texas was filed.  It is currently under review by the Texas Legislature. We strongly hope it passes, or the number of people requesting the services of an auto accident lawyer due to texting while driving will continue to rise.