Each year in Texas, more than 100,000 crashes involve distracted driving. In fact, statistics show that traffic fatalities are trending upward nationwide, with distracted driving being a major contributing factor.
For these reasons, the Texas Department of Transportation recently announced the addition of Safe Phone Zones to 55 travel information centers and rest areas across the state.
The Safe Phone Zones, which are sponsored by private businesses, are places where drivers can stop to use their mobile devices rather than text or talk behind the wheel.
At present, 22 of the Safe Phone Zones have Wi-Fi, and the other locations will have Wi-Fi capability in the near future.
If you’re traveling in Texas, you might see highway signs indicating Safe Phone Zones and reminding drivers not to drive distractedly. However, even if there is no official safe zone in sight, drivers should avoid a distracted driving accident by pulling over in a safe place before texting or talking on the phone.
As any family that has lost a loved one to distracted driving will tell you, the importance of avoiding texting while driving cannot be overstated.
Despite knowing that distracted driving is a life-taker, a staggering number of drivers do it anyway.
Texas state law currently does not ban texting while driving, but the reality is that texting while driving can be just as dangerous and deadly as drunk driving.
In fact, one study found that, on average, texting takes a driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds at a time. If the vehicle is going 55 miles per hour, five seconds is long enough to cover the length of a football field — and clearly long enough to have devastating consequences. The study compared the act of texting behind the wheel to being blindfolded.
Still, many people choose to put their own safety and the safety of others at risk by using handheld devices while driving.
At Johnson Hobbs Squires LLP, we represent victims and families of victims of car accidents, including distracted driving crashes. For more on that, please see our personal injury overview.