Even in the absence of recent inclement weather, our streets are a dangerous place to be these days. Not only do our streets and highways host a growing number of drivers creating greater congestion, today’s drivers have far more distractions to contend with as well. Unfortunately, the more comfortable and familiar we become with a distraction, the more danger it poses. In many cases, this is because we often do not realize just how compromised our instincts become.
Few distractions pose as great a threat to drivers as our cellphones. While most people understand the dangers of texting while driving, using a phone in any way provides distraction. Simply talking on a phone is more distracting than many drivers understand. While Texas has no statewide restrictions keeping most drivers from using a cellphone while driving, many individual cities maintain local ordinances that restrict cellphone use by drivers. As of now, neither Bellaire nor Houston maintain these restrictions.
Legal restrictions to cellphone use for drivers
While drivers do remain free to use cellphones while they drive, there are some limited restrictions. A driver may not use a cellphone while driving within the first six months of obtaining a learner’s permit. Similarly, licensed drivers under the age of 18 may not use cellphones or other wireless communication devices while driving.
Schoolchildren also enjoy additional protection from cellphone-distracted drivers. School bus drivers are not allowed to use a cellphone while driving if any children are present in the bus. Likewise, all drivers are prohibited from using cellphones while driving in a school zone.
Drivers’ freedoms and responsibilities
The state of Texas stands as one of the leaders throughout our country as a great protector of personal liberty in the laws that we champion. Remaining consistent with this principle, the state does not prohibit adult drivers from using cellphones, outside of the previously stated exceptions. However, cellphone use as a driver is a freedom that far too many people take for granted without fully understanding and respecting how dangerous it is to use a phone while driving a car, truck or other vehicle.
Of course, even when we obey good driving practices, there is always the chance that another driver will make an error and cause a collision. If you suffer an injury in a car accident, be sure to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you pursue full, fair compensation while protecting your rights.