Driving requires a driver’s full attention. Sending text messages while driving is extremely dangerous and leads to many preventable accidents each year. Texting is especially popular among young people. But texting while driving can create a distraction for drivers of any age.
When a distracted driver causes an accident by unsafe texting while driving, he or she should be held accountable for the harm caused to others on the road. If you have been injured by a driver who was texting behind the wheel, you should talk to an experienced Port Aransas personal injury lawyer to understand your legal rights to seek compensation for your injuries.
The Port Aransas car accident lawyers at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. help people who have been injured by drivers who were texting while driving. Our distracted driving accident attorneys provide aggressive legal counsel to people who have been injured through others’ disregard for safety such as sending email or text messages while driving.
Our attorneys are committed to holding unsafe drivers who text while driving fully accountable for the harm they cause and helping our clients in Texas pursue the compensation they need to move forward after a serious accident.
We can review the details of your accident and discuss your legal options for seeking compensation for medical bills and other expenses related to a distracting driving accident. Call us at (361) 882-4357 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Stop Texting and Driving!
We all have that tendency to check on our phone each time it beeps while we are driving. The urge is no doubt something we use both our minds and body to fight. But, some people are not as strong as they should be to curb the ever desire to text while they are on the road.
Studies have even shown that 60% of drivers today text while they drive, and in the United States, 7 out of every 10 drivers text, snap and call while they are on the wheels. Well, being that we humans cannot seem to caution ourselves, we need laws to make us do the right thing. And speaking of laws, Texas, just last year, passed a bill into law to curb the ramp of this menace. Governor Greg Abbott announced the law on the 6th of June, 2017, stating that text-driving is illegal, making Texas the 47th state to ban the dangerous practice officially. A list of 45 cities have also enacted the hands-free ordinance.
The law provides that using your phone while driving is a punishable offense, a fine of $25 to $99 for first-time defaulters and a fee of $100 to $200 for repeat offenders. The new law also provides that should any accident be caused by texting and driving, and should it happen to result in death or serious bodily injury of someone else, the offender would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine that cannot be more than $4,000. It will also include jail confinement for a term that would not be more than twelve months, and that would be in the addition of any other charges or punishments.
A total number of 3,179 people in the United States died in 2014 alone, and these deaths occurred in crashes that involved distracted drivers. In the same 2014, 431,000 were injured under the same conditions. Also, 2016 recorded 109,658 traffic crashes in Texas alone which also involved texting and driving, leading to more than 3,000 injuries and no less than 455 fatalities.
It is the hard truth, but texting while driving increases the likeliness of a car accident occurring by 23 times! So, this law banning the act is actually a beneficial one, as more lives would be saved, injuries would be reduced drastically and properties would be protected. Drivers will now concentrate more on their driving, reducing the chances of this mishaps and losses. Also, the fact that it is still legal in some cities for drivers to use a phone for GPS navigation, music apps, and dialing numbers, it is still a punishable offense when caught texting on wheels. This makes drivers focus more on productivity than entertainment, as they will learn what is needed to concentrate and have the safest time on the road.
This 2017 law addressing and stopping reading, writing or sending of electronic messages is a no-brainer and a relief from all these phone-caused calamities, and many other regions are taking the cue from the good move.
Is it Illegal to Text and Drive in Port Aransas, Texas?
Texting as well as reading or writing email while driving is now illegal in Texas. Drivers typically take their eyes off the road for three seconds or longer when reading texts. That kind of distraction is extremely dangerous while operating a motor vehicle. It creates an enormous risk of accidents and leads to many preventable injuries and deaths.
The Texas legislature passed a ban on texting while driving, effective Sept. 1, 2017, to reduce injuries and prevent fatal accidents.
Important Things to Know When Driving in Port Aransas
- The law bans the use of cell phones and wireless communication devices to send or receive electronic messages including texts and emails while operating a motor vehicle.
- Drivers are prohibited from sending or receiving electronic messages unless stopped and off the road. Under the law, it’s illegal for a driver to send or receive text messages while stopped at a traffic light. However, drivers can still use cell phones for navigation, report an emergency, report illegal activity or report an unsafe truck driver using a number on their work vehicle.
- The penalty for a first offense conviction of texting while driving is punishable by a fine of $99. Subsequent convictions carry a fine of up to $200.
- Under the law, a driver who is texting or emailing and causes a crash that injures or kills someone may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail, upon conviction.
- There are numerous activities that can distract a driver including eating, talking to passengers, adjusting the radio or navigation system, or grooming. Texting is considered among the most dangerous forms of distraction.
- Typing text messages takes a driver’s hands off the steering wheel, eyes off the road, and mind off the task of staying aware of surrounding traffic conditions.
- While texting is illegal, talking on a cell phone is still legal. However, for drivers under age 18, Texas prohibits all cell phone use while driving, except in cases of emergency.
- School bus drivers are prohibited from any use of cell phones while children are aboard the bus.
- In school zones, all drivers are prohibited from texting and using handheld communication devices while driving.
Who Pays for My Injuries if I Was Involved in a Car Accident Caused by a Distracted Driver?
If you were injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver who was texting, you have a legal right to demand compensation from the at-fault driver for your medical bills and other accident-related losses.
You should not be burdened with medical debt from injuries caused by a distracted driver. Texas law provides that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will reimburse the accident victims for their injuries. The distracted driver’s insurance should be legally liable for your injuries. But you will have to prove that the other driver was distracted or otherwise at-fault and caused your injuries.
A texting-while-driving attorney at Herrman & Herrman can help you pursue a claim against the distracted driver and his or her insurer. Seeking compensation from the at-fault driver generally involves negotiating with his or her auto insurance company
Our attorneys will investigate your accident and gather evidence to show that the other driver was texting while driving. Our attorneys can subpoena the phone records of the motorist who caused your accident and determine whether the motorist was using the phone at the time of the accident and was likely a distracted driver. We can present that evidence to the insurance company and develop a strong case for compensation.
Texting and Driving Statistics in Texas
Approximately one in five car accidents in Texas involves a distracted driver. Distracted driving causes hundreds of fatal accidents and thousands of injuries in Texas each year.
The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 540,561 motor vehicle crashes on Texas roadways in 2018. Of the total number, more than 95,500 accidents, or approximately 18 percent, involved a driver using a cell phone, texting, or otherwise distracted.
The distracted driving accidents resulted in 398 traffic deaths and 2,340 serious injuries in Texas. That represents a 12 percent decrease in fatalities compared to 2017.
Researchers at the Texas A&M School of Public Health found that states with a primary texting ban on all drivers realized an 8 percent reduction in emergency room visits resulting from car crashes. The 2019 study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.
The Texas Department of Transportation said that a comparison of the 12-month period before the new law took effect compared to 12 months afterward showed that the number of crashes involving distracted driving in Texas had decreased by 6 percent.
Contact a Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer in Port Aransas, TX
You may feel overwhelmed if you are struggling to recover from serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident in Port Aransas. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney, who has experience handling distracted driving accident claims, can be extremely helpful in guiding you through the legal process of pursuing financial recovery.
Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. can conduct an independent investigation to determine whether texting while driving was a contributing factor to your accident. We will take steps to preserve relevant text messages or emails and identify all the potentially liable parties. Texting while driving is against the law in Texas. Drivers who persist in texting and cause accidents should be made to pay for their negligent behavior. A civil lawsuit can hold a distracted driver financially accountable for the injuries resulting from a preventable accident.
If your injuries leave you unable to work, Herrman & Herrman can help you demand compensation for lost income as well as medical bills. In addition, we can also seek compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. Contact our distracted driver accident lawyers in Port Aransas online today.