Is the Texting Law in Texas Good Enough?
Texas has what could be called an ‘average’ set of distracted driving laws. There seems to be no doubt that distracted driving-related accidents and injuries have increased dramatically since mobile devices became so widespread. Texas now has rules about using mobile devices when driving, but there is a lack of agreement about whether they are good enough to actually lower the serious injury and fatality rate on our highways. Read on to learn more from our skilled McAllen car accident attorney at Patino Law Firm.
There was a decrease of 12% in fatalities across the state involving distracted driving crashes between 2017 and 2018, but whether this can be attributed to stricter laws is open to debate. There are many reasons why drivers become distracted, many of which are the same as they ever were – talking to passengers, staring at something interesting out the window, eating and drinking and adjusting the radio, music center or GPS. Add to that talking on a cell phone and texting, then there are certainly plenty of reasons why accidents are caused by momentary distraction. When traveling at speed, it only takes a second’s distraction for a crash to occur.
One of the reasons why some legislators think the current ban on texting while driving and the use of handheld devices for voice calls doesn’t go far enough in that it is hard for police to obtain proof that the moment’s illegal move caused an accident. Unless another driver or passenger actually saw someone texting or the action was captured on camera, it would be extremely hard to say that that was the reason for the crash. Unfortunately, most drivers know that and it seems that many are prepared to continue the practice even if they know that it is illegal and that it could cause them to hit another vehicle or swerve into a median strip or off the road entirely.
The limitations of the current texting law are as follows:
- The ban on texting is hard to enforce;
- Hand-held cell phone use is only banned for young and first time drivers;
- The fines are minor – even if there is proof that a law has been violated.
The laws are stricter for drivers who are in school zones or school bus drivers who have children on board. In this case, no driver is allowed to use a cell phone at all. Perhaps it is time for the law to change so that no cell phone use at all should be allowed anywhere while someone is driving and the fines should be far higher.
How Can the Victim of a Distracted Driving Accident Prove That the Accident Was Caused by a Texting Driver?
Unless the driver who was hit has a dashcam in operation or several people can testify that they actually saw a driver use a cell phone just before a crash, it is really quite hard to come up with proof that the driver was distracted when he caused an accident. It’s unlikely that the at-fault driver will admit using a phone or was texting just at that point in time. Of course, there may be other evidence that shows that the driver was negligent. If the driver traveling in the opposite direction ends up over a centerline or was filmed by a surveillance camera running a red light or failing to stop at an intersection, then this could help. Can a driver’s phone records be legitimately be checked to see whether he or she was using them just as the crash was happening?
It is possible that your car accident attorney can issue a subpoena for cell phone call records if there is sufficient justification for it. The records, once they have been made available, should show the exact time and length of a phone call or text message. As long as the exact time of the crash can be verified then this sort of information could be invaluable evidence that the other driver was to blame for the accident.
Contact the Injury Lawyer McAllen if Hit by a Texting Driver
If you, or a loved one, have been injured by a texting driver, whatever the circumstances, you should contact our skilled McAllen personal injury lawyer. It can be difficult to sue a negligent driver without professional legal help. You can contact Injury lawyer in McAllen at 210-646-9100.
Patino Law Firm
1802 N 10th St
McAllen, TX 78501