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Texas accident attorney, Texas personal injury lawyerTexas Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, is attempting once again to get a statewide ban on cell phone use while driving through the state legislature. According to the representative, Texas is only one of four states that does not have a distracted driving law. Currently, Texas bans young drivers and bus drivers from using mobile phones while behind the wheel, and close to 100 cities have banned cell phone use while operating a vehicle at a municipal level. However, Craddick and others believe this is not enough to save lives and they want all texting while driving to be illegal.

Distracted Driving Crashes in Texas

Craddick may be right as 476 people were killed in crashes that involved distracted driving in 2015. This was a slight increase from the year before, according to the Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts. Additionally, 4,148 accidents in Austin last year were related to distracted driving, KXAN reported. This is despite the fact that Austin is one of the cities that bans hand-held devices through a local ordinance. In Austin, if you are found using a hand-held device you could be fined up to $500.

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New Braunfels car wreck lawyerWe have all heard of the dangers of distracted driving and its impact on car accident statistics, but did you know that in the state of Texas, distracted driving behaviors such as talking on a cell phone can impact more than just your health and general well-being? Using your cell phone can impact your wallet, too. 

While it is true that there is no statewide law that bans the use of a cell phone in the car, the state does enforce fines for anyone caught using a cell phone behind the wheel under prohibited circumstances. Although this is not a new concept across the nation, it is a practice that is strictly enforced and is intended to limit the amount of cell phone usage while driving throughout the state.

Fines and Restrictions

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distracted driverThe statistics tell the story – drivers who use cell phone while driving cause unnecessary dangers on the road. Yet despite all the research, statistics, and attempts to educate, people still use their cell phones while driving. More than 10 percent of all traffic fatalities in this country each year are caused by a distracted driver on a cell phone. Now, comes even more disturbing news from a study conducted by researchers from the University of Southern Maine. According to the study, just having a cell phone in a vehicle can cause enough distraction to cause an accident. The study, titled The Mere Presence of a Cell Phone May Be Distracting: Implications for Attention and Task Performance was recently published in the journal Social Psychology. For the study, researchers split two groups of college students up into groups of 50. Each group was given two tests to complete – a digital cancellation test and a trail making test. The digital cancellation test involved either crossing out a target number which was among a series of numbers or find two adjacent numbers that added up to the target number amount. In the trail making test, the students had to draw a type of connect-the-dots type of test without picking their pencils off the paper. After the research team leader explained the tests to each group, he would leave the room. When he left the first group, he “accidently” left his cell phone behind. When he left the room after explaining the test to the second group, he “accidently” left a small notebook behind. The research team found that the first group had a much harder time concentrating and getting correct answers on the test than the second group. The cell phone, even though it was not theirs, proved a distraction for the students. The researchers note that it was the quality of the tests that suffered when the cell phone was present, not the quantity. This could explain why many people can text and drive if there is no traffic and you have plenty of time, however, as the study’s team leader points out, those conditions do not often exist. Hence, the number of car crashes caused by distracted drivers. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was texting or otherwise engaged in distracting behavior, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for your pain and loss.  

text drive appMany studies have revealed that despite the warnings and education, millions of drivers are still guilty of texting and driving. In Texas, one out of every four car crashes is caused by a distracted driver. Teens, especially, still frequently send and receive text messages while driving. Texas is only one of seven states in the country that has not banned texting and driving, however, almost two dozen cities, including Austin and San Antonio, have passed local ordinances that ban the use of cell phones while driving. Parents of teen-age drivers who are concerned their teens may practice the dangerous habit of texting while driving can help alleviate those concerns with a mobile phone app called “SafeCell” which is available for both iPhone and Android smartphone users. When the app is downloaded to a phone, it uses GPS technology to determine if the phone is traveling more than five miles per hour. When the driver uses the phone to text, make phone calls, or logs onto other apps, such as social media accounts, SafeCell will send an alert to the parents that tells them when the phone was used, where the phone was used and how fast the vehicle was moving when the phone was used. The app also gives parents the option to disable all of the phone’s calling, texting,email, and social media capabilities if the car is in motion. The app also blocks incoming calls and text messages while the vehicle is in motion. Those incoming messages are re-routed to a directory that does not show up until the driver stops the car. The app does have an emergency call feature which would allow a caller to interrupt those lock-out features, so teens could call for help in an emergency. If you have been injured in a vehicle crash caused by the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced New Braunfels car accident attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to.

selfies while drivingFor the past several years, there has been a mass media campaign throughout the country about the dangers of texting and driving. Many safety advocates say the number of people who text and drive are at epidemic proportion, despite all the education and warnings to the public. Over 1 million of the auto accidents that occur every year were caused by someone using their cell phone. There is now another alarming trend developing on the nation’s roads, and that is people who take selfies while their driving. A selfie is a photograph a person takes of themselves, typically with a smartphone, and posts to one of their social media accounts. Popular social media sites for selfies include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The person will often add a comment with their photo using a hashtag. A hashtag is a word or a phrase that follows the pound (#) symbol. A recent survey found over 3 million selfie posts with the hashtag “#driving” on the social media site Instagram. Other photos with hashtags indicating the person was driving when the photo was taken included 50,000 which had “#drivinghome” and 9,000 photos tagged with “#drivingtowork.” Another 3,500 photos had the hashtag “#drivingselfie.” There have been numerous reports of drivers involved in fatal crashes while engaging in this practice. Details of one particular tragic incident went nationwide after police revealed that evidence showed the victim had been posting selfies and comments minutes before the car she was driving crossed over the center line and crashed head on into a truck which was traveling the opposite way. The 32 year-old woman was killed instantly. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.

The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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