If you have a cell phone, chances are you’ve used it while driving in your car along Texas roads and highways. Surveys have revealed that around 80% of drivers nationwide admit to chatting on their mobile phone while behind the wheel. While this may not seem like a big deal to many people, researchers and authorities are becoming increasingly concerned about this accident danger.
Are cell phones really that bad?
It is hard to believe that something as innocent as a cell phone conversation could lead to a serious traffic accident – and even cause injury or death. But that is what researchers are finding in studies that examine the role that mobile devices play in driver awareness on the road.
A study at the University of Utah in 2006 surprised researchers when it revealed that motorists talking on a cell phone were as impaired as drunken drivers. Not only that, but researchers found that it isn’t the cell phone that is the problem, it’s the conversation. Research showed that hands-free devices did not lower the risk of a driver becoming distracted and being involved in an auto accident. There was no significant difference between the distraction level of drivers using a hand-held cell phone and those using a hands-free device.
The reason that car and truck drivers having a phone conversation react poorly is “inattention blindness”. Inattention blindness is when motorists look right at road conditions but don’t actually see them because they are distracted by their phone conversation. Worse, drivers don’t even realize that they are distracted so they don’t think they are doing anything wrong.
Cell phone conversations behind the wheel are an especially bad idea for teenagers and young adults. When young drivers carry on phone conversations while driving, their reaction times are as slow as those of elderly drivers. Not surprisingly, many states have passed laws restricting the use of handheld devices for young or new drivers.
Texas cell phone driving laws
In Texas, there are no outright bans on hand-held device use behind the wheel. However, there are some mobile device restrictions in Texas for certain kinds of drivers. Cell phones use and texting while driving is against the law for bus drivers when a passenger 17 and younger is present and for intermediate license holders during their first six months.
Truck and car accidents can be serious business, regardless of whether or not a cell phone was involved. If you or someone you love were severely injured in an automobile accident then you should talk to an attorney. Please contact the Houston law offices of VB Attorneys for a free review and consultation of your case.
VB Attorneys P.L.L.C
1001 Texas Avenue, Suite 1020
Houston, TX 77002