Bexar County has the worst rate of distracted driving crashes of any county in Texas, the personal finance website ValuePenguin reported in March 2019. The rate of 14.01 distracted driver crashes per 1,000 residents was nearly double the rate of 7.63 distracted driver crashes per 1,000 residents for the second-worst county, Wichita County.
ValuePenguin reported that there were 24,201 crashes caused by distracted drivers in Bexar County in 2017 alone, and Bexar County had a rate that was triple that of Tarrant County, despite a population difference of only about 100,000 people. The safest county was Presidio County with a rate of 0.51 distracted driver crashes per 1,000 residents, although it only has a population of 7,818, according to the 2010 United States Census.
What Is the ‘Heads Up, Texas’ Program?
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has launched its “Heads up, Texas” campaign in partnership with the AT&T “It Can Wait” campaign. The campaign launched on June 4, 2019, with activities aimed at addressing and discouraging all forms of distracted driving, including a distracted driving virtual reality experience in San Antonio.
TxDOT states that additional events are planned in Temple, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Tyler, McAllen, Corpus Christi, Houston, El Paso, Midland, and Wichita Falls. TxDOT noted that the top five smartphone distractions while driving among Texans surveyed by AT&T for “It Can Wait” were text messaging, taking pictures, playing music, emailing, and accessing social media.
What Constitutes Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is most commonly associated these days with smartphones and people talking, texting, using social media, or other applications on the devices while behind the wheel. It is also possible for drivers to be distracted by many other circumstances within their vehicles or even outside the vehicles. A driver could be distracted by grooming, eating or drinking, or otherwise attempting to multitask while driving. In other cases, passengers can be distractions, or the driver may be distracted by external factors like roadside crashes and other events that draw their attention, known as “rubbernecking.”
What Are The Distracted Driving Laws in San Antonio?
On September 1, 2017, a statewide texting-while-driving ban took effect in Texas that makes it illegal to read, write, or send a text while driving. A violation is punishable by a fine up to $200. In 2014, the San Antonio City Council enacted a “hands-free” ordinance that took effect on January 1, 2015. The law prohibits people from using handheld mobile communication devices to make phone calls; send, read, or write text messages; view pictures or text sent electronically; play games; or engage in any other use of the device while operating a motor vehicle. The law is applicable even when a driver is stopped in traffic.
Talk to an Accident or Personal Injury Lawyer Now
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, you need experienced legal representation right away.
Douglas D. Ketterman is the originator and founder of Ketterman, Rowland & Westlund where he currently serves as President and Managing Shareholder. Douglas has extensive experience in handling all types of civil litigation. He graduated with honors from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1989 and has been Board Certified as a Specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law since 1998 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.