As the Houston area was recovering from Hurricane Harvey, a new state law went into effect on September 1. It is now illegal to write, send, or read on your phone while driving. Last year in Texas, distracted driving accidents killed more than 450 people and the number of accidents increased by three percent.
As a local auto body shop in Houston, Katy, League City, and Cypress, the damaged vehicles from these accidents in our area are brought to Fogle Collision Centers for collision repair, if they are not totaled. Understanding the new law is not only important to avoid a fine and ticket, but also for safety.
Steps to Practice Not Texting and Driving
If you are a driver who feels the need to immediately respond to a text or social media message, it is time to get in the habit of not using your phone while driving. The easiest way to avoid the temptation is to commit yourself to safe driving and place your cell out of reach.
City ordinances that were in effect prior to the state law are still enforced, including hands-free ordinances. Invest in a Bluetooth device if your car is not equipped with this feature. This will allow you to talk and also send messages through a voice-to-text app or feature on your phone.
Know the Law
With the new law, drivers can still make and receive phone calls, however if you are making a call while driving it must be hands-free. Use a voice activated feature on your phone to dial the number for you. The law does not prevent you from texting or reading while stopped, but once the car is in motion you must put the cell down.
If an officer sees a driver with his or her head looking down or the car not maintaining a lane, the officer can pull the car over to determine if the driver was texting.
We know accidents can happen, but texting and driving accidents can be prevented. If you are in an accident, we are here to help make the repair process efficient. Contact our team at Fogle Collision for a free estimate or download (not while driving) our fast and easy estimating tool. We’ll get you an estimate so auto body repairs can begin and you can get back on the road.