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All Press Releases for January 25, 2013 »
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Texting While Driving Bans Proposed Again in Texas

Texas legislators have once again proposed distracted driving bans, which would restrict texting while driving on state roadways.
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    January 25, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- We rely on our fellow motorists to practice safe driving habits. Accidents can happen at any time, even when drivers are devoting their complete attention to the road. If this attention lapses, and a driver is talking, texting or surfing the internet, he or she can easily lose track of what is happening around them.

While many states have implemented strong laws that attempt to prevent the countless motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving, Texas currently has no statewide ban in place. Each legislative session, there are no proposals designed to pass new rules to restrict this dangerous behavior.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were over 100,000 vehicles involved in crashes related to some type of driver distraction in 2009. It is unknown exactly how many car and truck accidents are caused by texting or using a cellphone while driving, because not every law enforcement agency tracks this information. Police may not even ask motorists involved in the collision if they were distracted, and it may only be included on a police report if the driver mentions it.

The current laws against distracted driving only apply to a small percentage of drivers that are on Texas roadways. School bus drivers are not allowed to text while driving, and are also prohibited from using hands-free devices while behind the wheel. Novice drivers, which the state defines as anyone 17 and under, are also not allowed to use a cellphone to make calls or text while driving.

Many communities throughout the state have enacted their own distracted driving laws. Austin has a ban on texting while driving, and also prohibits smartphone users from surfing the internet while operating a motor vehicle.

Several proposals are currently under consideration that would prohibit texting while driving within Texas. Drivers found to be texting would receive high fines, and the fines would be substantially increased in school zones. The laws could make texting while driving a primary violation, which means that police would be able to stop motorists observed reading, composing or sending texts.

The difficulty in enforcing texting bans is one of the reasons that critics are against these proposals. Law enforcement agencies are in favor of making roadways safer, but are unsure that they will be able to detect those engaging in unsafe driving behavior unless the motorist causes an accident. Those in favor of the ban feel that the potential penalties may be enough of a deterrent to drivers who may be thinking of texting while driving.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options. It is important to understand how you can protect your rights during this difficult time. Insurance companies may be trying to get you to quickly settle your case before you know the extent of your injuries. Settling too soon may prevent you from receiving the compensation you need to completely recover from the accident.

Article provided by Allison & Ward, L.L.P.
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