Distracted driving is a risky behavior and has been cited as a contributing factor in numerous Houston rear end collisions. According to figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 3,500 people lost their lives as a result of distracted driving in 2015. The state of Texas has instituted a ban on texting while driving that went into effect September 1, 2017. This new law is expected to save lives and reduce the number of accidents on Texas streets and highways.
The Letter of the Law
House Bill 62 was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on June 6, 2017. The new law bans reading, writing or texting while driving and could result in fines of as much as $99 for a first offense and up to $200 for repeated offenses. No points will be removed from licenses based on driving while texting offenses alone. Additionally, drivers who are responsible for causing serious injury or death to another person in Houston rear end collisions involving texting and driving could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for this offense could include a fine of up to $4,000 and jail time of one year or less.
Activities to Avoid
While it is still legal to use GPS navigation and to listen to music on your phone while you are on the road, law enforcement officials are likely to look for certain telltale signs of distracted driving when enforcing the new law. Some of the most common indications of distracted driving that could cause Houston rear end collisions include the following:
- Failing to maintain a speed consistent with the flow of traffic
- Driving with your head down
- Swerving or drifting within a single lane or between lanes of traffic
- Braking suddenly or without cause
- Remaining stationary at a stop light after it turns green
If a member of law enforcement observes any of these behaviors, he or she may pull the driver over to issue a warning or a citation. Texting and driving tickets can be issued even if no other violations occurred that would have warranted a stop or a ticket.
If you have been involved in a serious auto accident, contacting an experienced Houston traffic accident lawyer at DeSimone Law Office can be a good first step toward achieving fair compensation for your injuries and losses. We can help you reach a successful resolution for your Houston auto accident lawsuit both in and out of court. By working with us, you can enjoy greater peace of mind after an accident. Call us today at 713-526-0900 to schedule a free case evaluation with our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys. We look forward to the chance to serve you as your attorneys for life.