Driving while distracted is a serious issue that threatens the safety of everyone on the road. Like many other states, Texas has implemented strict laws to combat this problem. Read on to learn more.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving occurs when a motorist’s attention is diverted from the road by another activity. It includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, reading, grooming, and more. In Texas, driving while distracted is a leading cause of accidents. It poses a significant risk to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.

What Are the Distracted Driving Laws in Texas?

One of the primary distractions on the road is cell phone use. It is illegal to text and drive in the State of Texas. Many cities have laws that take it one step further, making it illegal to talk on a handheld cell phone. Because jurisdictions vary, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with State and City laws.

Distracted driving laws in Texas aim to reduce accidents caused by driver inattention. Here’s what you need to know:

    • Sending and reading text messages while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle is against the law
    • Drivers with a learner’s permit are not allowed to use their cell phones within their first six months of driving
    • Using handheld devices while driving within a school zone is illegal
    • School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving if children are present
    • All drivers below 18 years of age are not allowed to use handheld devices

Aside from texting and driving in Texas, there are other distractions for drivers that can lead to accidents. Here are some of them:

      • Eating and drinking
      • Setting a dashboard or mobile navigation system
      • Reaching for something inside the vehicle
      • Tuning the dashboard radio
      • Talking to a passenger, especially someone in the rear seats

These behaviors are not explicitly considered illegal in the state of Texas. But, they can still be dangerous and contribute to higher risks of car accidents.

What Are the Consequences for Distracted Driving in Texas?

Driving while distracted in Texas is a misdemeanor charge that can have serious consequences. That’s why the state has implemented various penalties to discourage this dangerous behavior.

The fine typically ranges from $25 to $99 for first offenders. But, it’s important to note that the actual amount to be paid may be higher due to additional court costs and fees. On the other hand, repeat offenders may be fined from $100 to $200.

Besides that, distracted driving accidents that cause severe injury or death have even more severe penalties. Motorists responsible for such incidents can face fines of up to $4,000 and even a year of imprisonment.

Get Reliable Legal Representation at Frenkel & Frenkel

Learning about distracted driving laws and penalties in Texas is helpful should you or a loved one become a victim in such incidents. If you need legal representation in Dallas or Fort Worth, TX, our auto accident lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel can help you. Contact our team today for more information about our services.

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