by Tim O’Hare
Despite some lawmakers’ best intents, a statewide ban on texting while driving has yet to be made law. That fact hasn’t stopped several municipalities in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex from passing their own laws. Most recently, Farmers Branch has joined Arlington and Grand Prairie in making it illegal to text while driving.
The distracted driving ordinance, which includes a ban on reading, writing and sending emails or texts, posting to social media sites, using the Internet or using any other applications on a smartphone other than voice activated GPS directions passed through Farmers Branch city council with no trouble in March. In an effort to encourage drivers to change their driving behavior, the ordinance will be combined with an educational program to make drivers aware of the dangers of texting while driving.
Texas is one of only a handful of states that does not have a statewide ban of texting while driving. Whether or not the use of handheld mobile devices and texting while driving is outlawed in Texas doesn’t make it any less dangerous.
In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and approximately 421,000 people were injured in crashes related to distracted driving. Ten percent of all drivers under age 20 who were involved in fatal accidents were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash.
According to www.distraction.gov, text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. Although you may think you are only taking your eyes off the road for a split second, studies have found that the average time a driver’s eyes are off the road while texting is five seconds. That’s long enough for a vehicle traveling at 55mph to cover the length of a football field.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in a car accident caused by distracted driving or drunk driving, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare to speak with a Dallas personal injury attorney.
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