New bill would ban texting and driving in Texas

A new bill was recently introduced in Texas that seeks to place a ban on texting and driving in the state for all drivers.

Many people are injured or killed every day in collisions caused by distracted drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1,000 people incur serious short-term and permanent injuries and approximately nine people are killed every day in distracted driving-related collisions. In an effort to minimize the number of drivers, passengers and pedestrians injured and killed in these types of car accidents, a new bill in Texas seeks to ban texting and driving, states KXAN.com.

This bill is not the first of its kind

Currently, cell phone use while driving is a prohibited activity in Texas for drivers who are younger than 18, school bus drivers who are transporting children and for drivers of all ages while driving through a school zone. According to KXAN.com, if this bill is passed, all text-based communications, including SMS, instant messaging, email, and Facebook and Twitter messaging, would be banned.

This is not the first time a bill of this nature been introduced in the state. In 2011, both houses of the legislature passed a piece of legislation similar to this one. However, Governor Rick Perry vetoed it stating that it is not up to the government to manage the behavior of adults.

Texting and driving bans aren't always effective

Although this bill would make texting and driving illegal in Texas, research shows that texting bans like this one don't always reduce the number of distraction-related collisions that occur. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, researchers at the Highway Loss Data Institute analyzed the frequency of insurance claims filed under collision coverage in Minnesota, Washington, Louisiana and California before and after an anti-texting ban was passed. The researchers then compared this information with claim patterns in surrounding states.

Not only did the bans fail to successfully address the texting and driving problem, but in three of the four states, the number of accidents that occurred increased after the enactment of these new policies. While there are many potential reasons why these policies are ineffective, some speculate that they do not work because they:

  • Only focus on one aspect of distracted driving
  • Ignore the fact that there are endless sources of driver distraction
  • Attempt to solve the entire distracted driving problem by banning one single source

If you were harmed in a collision caused by a distracted driver, consult with an attorney in your area to find out what your legal rights are.

Keywords: texting, distracted, driving, accident, injury