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distracted driving

How Do Distracted Driving Laws Differ between Motorists?

Differences In Distracted Driving Laws

According to the CDC, about eight victims are killed in crashes involving a distracted driver every day. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents; this dangerous action claimed 3,142 lives in 2019. The statistics are shocking; however, the reality is that with so many external distractions with our electronic devices, eating and drinking, multitasking, taking eyes off the road, and stealing our attention are causing grave outcomes.

Unfortunately, distracted driving remains a critical issue in Texas and has plagued Texas highways and roads. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, nearly one in five crashes on Texas roads occurred because of a distracted driver, leading to 367 fatalities and 2,205 severe injuries.

Although texting and driving are illegal in Texas, this distracted driving epidemic continues, claiming more lives than ever before. Driving any vehicle while distracted can be dangerous; however, truck drivers have the most scrutiny for distracted driving because of the large truck's mass, weight, and heavy loads they carry, resulting in a more severe outcome than other motorists.

Senate Bill 43

In addition to the several other texting and driving laws, the Texas Legislature enacted a bill in October of 2019 SB43 to stop drivers from utilizing their smartphones while operating their vehicles; unless they are using their phone without their hands. The penalties of this legislation are:

  • Three points on your driving record.

  • A fine of 60 dollars.

Texas Distracted Driving Laws for Truck Drivers

The Large Truck Causation Study (LTCCS) reported that 7 percent of large-truck crashes occurred when commercial vehicle drivers were externally distracted, and 2 percent of large truck crashes occurred when the driver was internally distracted.

Texas Legislature has enacted several distracted driving laws for truck drivers, which includes:

  • Commercial vehicles are prohibited from using cellphones and electronic devices while driving.

  • It is illegal for truck drivers to send and read text messages while on the road.

The Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Handbook states that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the Hazardous Materials Regulations restrict the use of hand-held mobile devices by commercial drivers. Commercial drivers who fail to comply with this standard will be subject to disciplinary action for violating the State law on motor vehicle traffic control and safety.

The odds of being involved in a devastating motor-vehicle collision are six times greater for commercial drivers who engage in texting and driving than those who do not. Although Texas's texting and driving laws are taken very seriously, commercial truck drivers have more penalties than other motorists. All drivers have an essential responsibility to operate their vehicles with reasonable care and focus on the road to ensure safety for themselves and other drivers near them.

How to Gather Evidence for a Distracted Driving Claim

Not only is distracted driving dangerous and illegal, but it is also considered negligent, and the driver who exhibited this behavior should be held accountable for their actions. If you or someone you love has been involved in a distracted driving-related crash, it's crucial to preserve evidence to help establish liability.

  • Get a police report.

  • Obtain cell phone records.

  • Gather witness and driver statements.

  • Take pictures of the scene.

  • Keep a record of your injuries.

  • Seek a knowledgeable motor vehicle accident attorney.

Contact a San Angelo Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

Jeff Chandler Law has over 17 years of legal experience helping victims involved in a motor vehicle collision. If you have been involved in a crash with a distracted driver, we are here for you. Contact us today at (325) 309-5846 to schedule a free case consultation.