Distracted driving continues to be an issue that affects the safety of all drivers in Texas. With the rapid growth in technology and the widespread use of cell phones, most people driving have a phone in the car. Many drivers cannot resist the temptation to use their phones while also driving, many believing that they are capable of multitasking safely.
The result is that distracted driving is now one of the leading causes of car accidents. Drivers of all ages are at risk, and lawmakers and authorities believe that the passing of a hands-free law could help the problem. By making it illegal for drivers to have a phone in their hands, it may curtail the number of distraction-related accidents in the state.
Is legislation the answer?
Many states already have hands-free laws in effect, but not Texas. Certain laws have made it illegal to text and drive since 2007, but obviously, that has not done much to curtail overall phone use. Texting is not the only way a phone can distract a person. Email, social media, navigation apps and even video streaming are some of the many ways that drivers are using their phones.
The intent of a hands-free law is to make it illegal to pick up a phone for any reason while driving, texting or not. If this bill passes, the hands-free law could go into effect as early as September of this year. Consider the following facts about this law, along with what it means for drivers and how police can enforce it:
- Under this new law, all phone use behind the wheel would have to occur by speaker, voice-activation or other means that do not require hands-on use.
- To enforce the law, it could require more police manpower and more hours that officers are not investigating crimes, which could be complicated.
- If this law passes and it goes into effect, police can pull over and ticket any driver seen with a phone in his or her hands.
No matter what laws are in place, each driver remains responsible for the choices he or she makes behind the wheel. If a distracted driver causes an accident that results in the physical harm of another person, he or she is liable for damages. If you are the victim of distracted driving, you can fight back by seeking damages through a personal injury claim. You may find it helpful to learn more about what legal remedies are available to you under the law by speaking with an attorney.