Since cellphones have advanced technologically, more accidents are caused by distracted driving in Plano, Texas. The increase in traffic accidents has prompted almost all states to pass texting and driving laws. Drivers can face stiff penalties for texting or engaging in other activities using a hand-held device while driving.
Distracted driving and texting
Distracted driving is defined as anything that takes a driver’s attention from the road, such as talking on a cellphone. Even with anti-texting laws, the Texas Department of Transportation reports that 18% of motor vehicle accidents happen from distracted driving. At 55 mph, sending a text takes the driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds, which is widely reported as enough time for driving over the length of a football field.
Not all cellphone use while driving is prohibited in Texas, but the state made texting and driving illegal in 2017. Drivers may not use a mobile device in a school zone, and school bus drivers may not use phones with children present. A first offense for texting and driving commonly includes a penalty of up to a $99 fine and $200 for the second offense.
Drivers under 18 on permits are allowed to use wireless devices to report illegal activity or contact emergency services. A driver may give a dispatcher information if using an attached device on the vehicle is within their scope of employment.
Drivers may use the GPS system on the vehicle, use voice-activated technology and activate music by hand. They are allowed to read or send messages that they reasonably think are emergencies at stoplights.
Traffic accidents caused by texting and driving can cost thousands in medical bills. This does not include the mental trauma and adjustments that often follow an accident. However, injured drivers only have two years to file a claim under the statute of limitations.