Report: Cellphones Involved In Over One-Quarter Of All Car Accidents
Recently, the National Safety Council (NSC) released its much-anticipated annual "Injury Facts" report. While the report did contain some statistics that were not terribly surprising to most – such as the fact that the period around New Year’s has the highest percentage of drunk driving fatalities – some of the other findings within the report were quite alarming. For instance, it discovered that an estimated 26 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involve some type of cellphone use, which includes not only texting while driving but also talking on phones while behind the wheel.
Tragically, this percentage represents an increase from last year, which is particularly concerning given that many states have created various laws related to cellphone use while driving. For example, according to USA Today, 43 states now ban drivers from texting while behind the wheel. However, even with laws such as these in place, the NSC estimates that as of April 8, drivers using cellphones have already caused nearly 277,000 car accidents so far this year.
Does Texas have any cellphone use while driving laws?
As mentioned above, 43 states already ban texting while driving, but sadly, Texas is not among them. Indeed, Texas law contains very few prohibitions when it comes to cellphone use while behind the wheel. The only restrictions placed upon Texas drivers include:
- Drivers under the age of 18 may not use cellphones to text or talk while operating a motor vehicle
- Bus drivers may not use cellphones to text or talk when minor passengers are on the bus, unless the bus is stopped
- Drivers are prohibited from using handheld cellphones while in school zones
However, while there is no statewide texting ban in Texas, it is worth mentioning that some cities, including San Antonio, have created their own local texting while driving laws.
Remedies available if injured by driver using cellphone
It is important for victims of distracted driving accidents to know that remedies may be available to compensate them for their injuries. For instance, just because a particular act is not illegal under Texas law, such as texting while driving, it does not mean that drivers engaging in this dangerous practice cannot be held liable if they cause a car accident in Texas – especially if they are using their cellphone in a negligent manner.
Accordingly, if you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver using his or her cellphone, it is often best to seek the advice of an experienced car accident injury attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can help explain your options as well as assist in ensuring your rights are protected.