Distracted driving crashes are on the rise in Texas, with more than 95,000 reported accidents and 459 fatalities in 2013.
As a result, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) ramped up their annual “Talk, Text, Crash” campaign in April as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness month, targeting common – and dangerous – driver behaviors such as texting, talking, eating or grooming while driving.
Our car accident lawyers in Fort Worth understand that drivers who take their eyes off the road for just a few seconds are at risk of causing a serious distracted driving accident. Despite campaigns to prevent distracted driving, some drivers continue to choose to drive distracted every day in Fort Worth, Dallas, and across the entire metropolitan area.
Texting accidents on the rise in Fort Worth, Dallas
The Dallas Morning News reported a 4 percent increase in distracted driving accidents in 2013 across the Lone Star State, including over 5,000 in Dallas County alone. Despite a growing problem, Texas lawmakers have yet to pass a statewide anti-texting bill into law. Some cities, such as Austin and San Antonio, passed ordinances that ban texting and driving. Dallas and Fort Worth have yet to pass similar legislation, according to the Dallas Morning News.
In response, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) rolled out its annual “Text, Talk, Crash” anti-distracted campaign in April, using television, radio and online advertisements to target driver behaviors such as talking, texting, eating, watching videos and grooming.
According to the Dallas Morning News, drivers are urged to take the following steps in avoiding texting accidents:
- Pull over to use cell phones and other electronic devices
- Don’t eat while driving
- Don’t groom while driving
- Tell your friends that you won’t be responding to calls or text messages while driving
- Use smartphone apps to disable your phone while driving
- Put your phone away or in “silent” mode while driving
Will Texas lawmakers propose new anti-texting safety laws?
A recent Amarillo.com report indicates that, according to DxDOT officials, driver distraction now causes one in every five Texas car accidents. Furthermore, drivers who use their cell phone while behind-the-wheel are four times more likely to get into a crash that causes serious injuries.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry struck down a proposed law to ban texting while driving in 2011 on the grounds that the state shouldn’t be allowed to micromanage people’s behavior. The article indicates that Texas lawmakers plan to reintroduce the legislation as part of the Texas House of Representatives’ 2015 session.
Since the 2011 veto, accidents involving texting drivers – and accident fatalities – have only risen across Texas. Public awareness over the dangers of distracted driving has also increased thanks to anti-texting campaigns by the TxDOT and a number of watchdog organizations that aim to curb the highly dangerous practice.
However, given that both public knowledge of texting and driving dangers and texting while driving accidents are both on the rise across the state, it’s possible that the passing of anti-texting laws might be the only way to curb this dangerous practice once and for all.
If you’ve been in a car accident in Fort Worth or Dallas, contact Coby L. Wooten, Attorney at Law, P.C. today at 866-408-0940.