Texas Laws About Cell Phones, Texting, and Distracted Driving
Distracted driving causes more than 100,000 car accidents in Texas every year, resulting in innumerable deaths and injuries for people of all ages. Cellphones remain the number one distraction for drivers nationwide, with calls and texting causing the largest number of distraction accidents. A 2015 study found that 38 percent of Texas drivers admitted to talking on their phones while behind the wheel, and over 20 percent of drivers admitted to reading or sending text messages or emails while driving.
Texas Laws Aimed at Distracted Driving
In an effort to control distracted driving behaviors, the state of Texas has passed several laws aimed at cell phone use. Many are primary laws, meaning a police officer may pull a driver over if he sees the driver using his phone without needing an additional offense.
Cell phone and texting laws in the Texas specifically affect:
- Novice drivers. Drivers who have not yet been granted a full license cannot compose, send, or receive any text messages while driving, and these drivers also cannot use handheld electronic devices until they have been driving for at least six months.
- Minors. Drivers under the age of 18 cannot use any wireless communication device while driving. This includes both hand-held and hands-free devices.
- Bus drivers. School bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone for any reason while driving.
- School zone occupants. All drivers are prohibited from using hand-held cell phones while driving in a designated school zone anywhere in the state of Texas.
- Persons in specific cities. Bellaire, Conroe, Magnolia, Shoreacres, West University Place, and a number of other Texas cities have adopted their own ordinances against cell phone use and texting while driving. These local laws can carry fines up to $200.
It is worth noting that if the police have evidence of distracted driving against the person who hit you, it will be used in evidence for the driver’s criminal case, not a civil lawsuit that will help you recover. In addition, under Texas’ comparative fault law, you will have to prove that the driver was not only at fault, but he is more at fault for the crash than you are in order to get compensation for your injuries. The only way to get the compensation you deserve is to have an attorney working for you, to represent your interests and nobody else’s. Contact us today through the quick contact form on this page to learn more about your distracted driving case.