Why it is Never Okay to Text While Driving in Texas

Using a phone for any reason while you’re in control of a vehicle in motion is simply asking for trouble. Even with the seemingly obvious risks involved, a recent study conducted by the Texas Department of Transportation found that nearly half of all teen drivers say that texting behind the wheel is major distraction for them. Further research has shown that four out of every ten teenagers who get Texas DPS license have personal been a passenger in a vehicle in which the driver was placing them and others in danger by using their cell phones. The most troubling fact is that even with countless campaigns against the use of smartphones for texting while driving, the message seems to not be effective in reaching the teen driving population.

Distractions of all kinds affect driver performance in a negative way. The decision to send and receive text while driving is at the top of the list for increasing the risk of an auto accident. Did you realize that on average the texting driver takes their eyes completely off the road for a total of four seconds? While this may seem like a short period of time, the truth is that if you are traveling at 60 miles per hour, during that four second period you have gone the entire length of a football field without looking ahead. Depending on the type of vehicle and the experience of the driver, the risk of being involved in a crash is increased by up to 23 times that of a non-distracted driver. Remember that waiting a few extra minutes to check or send that text message can be the difference of life and death.

Many states have statewide bans on texting and driving but so far Texas only has certain limits. In most parts of the state, the only restrictions in place are for using a cell phone in a school zone and the operation of passenger buses actively transporting minors. If you are caught using a cell phone in any way while driving through a school zone with the no phone sign posted the fine is $50. This penalty is completely insignificant when compared to other states. In Alaska for example, the fine is up to $10,000 and as much as 1 year in jail. Although we feel that punishment might be a little severe for a first offense, the fact remains that taking your eyes off the road for four or more seconds could be all it takes for you to cause an accident or even be responsible for ending someone’s life.

Everything we have mentioned all comes down to one thing, making the decision to text or use your phone while driving could have serious consequences. Some drivers think that they are skilled enough to text and drive but the fact is that it still greatly reduces their reaction time in which seconds often count. Don’t risk being the cause of killing another person, we promise, your conversation can wait.