Distracted driving is a giant focus for Texas legislators and automotive insurance coverage firms alike. However with so many several types of distracted driving legal guidelines that apply to totally different individuals, you may’t assist however marvel: What precisely counts as distracted driving in Texas?
This text explores what distracted driving is, in addition to what’s legally thought of distracted driving in Texas.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any exercise or scenario that retains you from absolutely specializing in driving your automotive and watching the street. Distracted driving will be divided into 4 most important classes:
- Visible: taking your eyes off the street
- Instance: making an attempt to learn a map or have a look at one other passenger
- Handbook: utilizing your fingers for something apart from steering
- Instance: making an attempt to open a soda bottle or unwrap meals
- Auditory: listening to something that’s not associated to driving
- Instance: listening to loud music or overhearing a loud dialog between different passengers
- Cognitive: pondering arduous about one thing that’s not about driving
- Instance: excessively worrying about an upcoming interview or presentation
Many types of distracted driving contain multiple of those varieties. For instance, having an intense argument along with your associate automotive entails auditory and cognitive distractions. And probably the most harmful types of distracted driving, like texting, contain all 4 varieties. That’s why Texas takes these harmful types of distracted driving so critically.
What Are Unlawful Types of Distracted Driving in Texas?
As you would possibly count on, cellular phone use is without doubt one of the most harmful types of distracted driving in Texas, and most distracted driving legal guidelines focus on how and when you should utilize your cellular phone whereas driving. For those who improperly use your cellular phone whereas driving in Texas, you will get a ticket, even in case you’re not driving recklessly.
So, what types of distracted driving can get you pulled over in Texas? Listed below are the main guidelines that apply in all places in Texas:
- No driver can ship or obtain digital messages whereas driving.
- Drivers can’t use a handheld gadget whereas driving by way of a faculty zone.
- Drivers below 18 can’t use handheld units whereas driving.
- Drivers with learner’s permits can’t use cell telephones in any respect for his or her first six months of driving.
Let’s have a look at these 4 guidelines in additional element.
1. No Sending or Receiving Digital Messages Whereas Driving
That is basically the no-texting-while-driving rule. Nonetheless, “digital messages” imply far more than textual content messages. In response to Texas legislation, an electronic mail is any knowledge that’s learn from or entered right into a wi-fi communication gadget for the needs of speaking with one other particular person. Moreover textual content messages, that features:
- Immediate messages
- Social media posts
- Networking and relationship apps
2. No Driving with Handheld Gadgets in College Zones in Texas
Whereas driving in a faculty zone, chances are you’ll not use your cellular phone in any respect. That features utilizing your cellphone’s hands-free mode. Switching to speakerphone or a wi-fi headset can nonetheless get you pulled over in case you’re in a faculty zone.
Understand that visitors violations at school zones have additional penalties. Pay shut consideration to highschool zone indicators that point out the velocity restrict in addition to when the varsity zone is energetic.
3. No Cell Telephone Use for Underaged Drivers At All Whereas Driving
Drivers below 18 aren’t allowed to make use of their cell telephones in any respect whereas driving, together with in hands-free mode. That signifies that your teen can’t use their cellphone for music or GPS navigation. In case your teen’s automotive doesn’t include a built-in navigation system, contemplate getting them a transportable navigation gadget that they will mount on their dashboard and retailer after they’re not utilizing it.
Earlier than handing the keys to your Texas teen driver, just be sure you have a severe dialogue concerning the risks of distracted driving and what the cellular phone legal guidelines are in Texas. The excellent news to your teen is that the legislation could be very straightforward to recollect: completely no cellular phone use whereas driving.
4. No Cell Telephone Use for New Drivers
For those who’re over 18 and have a Texas learner’s allow, you can’t use your cellphone to your first six months of driving, together with in hands-free mode. Subsequently, it will be a good suggestion to spend money on a transportable GPS navigation system in case your automotive doesn’t include one.
After your six months up are up, do not forget that you’ll nonetheless be topic to another distracted driving legislation for adults, together with college zone restrictions and native legal guidelines.
Do Cities Have Their Personal Legal guidelines for Distracted Driving in Texas?
Sure, cities in Texas have the facility to enact their very own distracted driving legal guidelines. For instance, Arlington adopted a texting ban years earlier than Texas did, and the town nonetheless has a few of the strictest distracted driving legal guidelines within the state.
For those who’re planning a street journey spending the weekend in one other metropolis, you’ll want to search for the native distracted driving legal guidelines. What’s completely acceptable in your house metropolis would possibly land you a ticket and an unpleasant effective throughout your journey.
Are There Exceptions to Distracted Driving Legal guidelines in Texas?
There are two main exceptions to the distracted driving legal guidelines in Texas. First, you’re allowed to make use of your cellphone, together with for texting, in case your automotive is absolutely stopped at a purple mild. Nonetheless, in case you’re nonetheless utilizing your cellphone when your automotive begins shifting, you will be ticketed.
Second, you’re allowed to make use of your cellphone to speak in an emergency, or in case you assume an incoming message or cellphone name is perhaps associated to an emergency.
Is Cell Telephone Use the Solely Unlawful Type of Distracted Driving in Texas?
The reply is difficult. On the one hand, improperly utilizing your cellular phone or cell gadget whereas driving in Texas is the one type of distracted driving that may get you a ticket by itself. Nonetheless, different types of distracted driving can be utilized towards you in sure conditions.
For example, in case you’re pulled over for driving recklessly since you have been making an attempt to unwrap a sandwich, each the police officer and the decide are far much less more likely to be sympathetic to your case. And in case you trigger an accident as a result of distracted driving, you then’re more likely to be discovered at fault for the accident, which signifies that you’ll have to pay for the injury to your automotive both out of pocket or by making a declare along with your auto insurance coverage firm.
Keep Protected: Don’t Be One other Distracted Driver in Texas
Each accident attributable to distracted driving in Texas is tragic as a result of it may have been prevented if the driving force had been paying consideration. Assist make Texas roads safer by eliminating the driving distractions in your life.
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