Texas’ texting and driving law is cracking down on distracted drivers. Whether you are new to Texas, or are unaware of the 2017 law, you need to know the details and avoid a ticket – or worse, an accident. The law made it illegal to write, send, or read on your phone while driving. In 2016, distracted driving accidents killed more than 450 Texans, and the number of accidents increased by three percent.
Understanding the new law is not only important to avoid a fine and ticket, but also for safety.
Steps to quit texting and driving
If you are a driver who feels the need to immediately respond to a text or social media message, it is time to get in the habit of not using your phone while driving. The easiest way to avoid the temptation is to commit yourself to safe driving and place your cell out of reach. Try putting your phone on silent in the glove compartment, or in the backseat.
Some phones and/or applications allow voice-to-text features that will allow you to respond to messages without touching your phone. If you have a long commute or feel an urgent need to respond to messages, you might consider an application that will both read your new messages and allow you to respond via voice command.
Bluetooth connectivity also allows for in-car phone calls. Though Houston does not require hands-free calls, it may be easier to call than it is to respond via text. It is also safer than holding the phone and taking one hand off the wheel during your call.
Know the law
With the law, drivers can still make and receive phone calls, however, if you are making a call while driving it must be hands-free. Use a voice-activated feature on your phone to dial the number for you.
Unlike many states, the law does not prevent you from texting or reading while stopped at a red light. Once the car is in motion you must put the cell phone down.
If an officer sees a driver looking down or the car not maintaining a lane, they can pull the car over to determine if the driver was texting. The loophole in the law is if you’re typing on your car console screen. While this isn’t illegal, you should also refrain from messing with the infotainment screen until you come to a complete stop. Remember, even if it is legal, if you are driving poorly because of it, a police officer will pull you over for reckless driving.
We know accidents can happen, but texting and driving accidents can be prevented.
If you are in an accident, our team at ProCare Collision is here to help make the repair process efficient. We’ll get you an estimate so you can get your vehicle repaired and get back on the road.