The term “Distracted Driving” encompasses many unsafe driving behaviors. Generally, it includes anything that encourages the driver to take their eyes off the road and/or think about something besides their important driving activities. All distractions have the potential to cause accidents and injuries or fatalities.
- Texting / Emailing / World Wide Web browsing
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Most states now have laws or are contemplating laws that ban some form of distracted driving.
Current Texas Law
- All cell phone use while driving is prohibited in an active school zone unless stopped or using a hands-free device.
- Drivers under 18 years of age are prohibited from using wireless communications devices while driving.
- Bus drivers are prohibited from texting while driving when children are present.
- There are numerous cities that have passed local ordinances against distracted driving.
- Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Amarillo, Galveston, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Missouri City, the Canyon, San Angelo, Synder, Alamo, Denton, Mission and Stephenville are among these cities.
For an up to date list of cell phone ordinances, visit the Texas Dept of Transportation.
Apps to Prevent or Discourage Distractions to Driving
There are numerous smartphone apps that help you be less distracted while you drive. They generally fall into two camps. Those that prevent certain functions from working while you drive and those that measure your driving skills and give you feedback as to how often you distract yourself with your phone.