Titan Towing employees encounter distracted drivers on the road daily and, unfortunately, are called to more and more accidents which have occurred due to texting while driving.
This is a Hertz rental vehicle that had to be towed. The customer was texting while driving and hit a curb. Not only did the tire blow out at 40 mph, but it did a significant amount of body damage in the process.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one in five crashes involves a distracted driver. Also, according to TXDOT, “drivers who use cell phones in their vehicles have a higher risk of collision than drivers who don’t, whether holding the phone or using a hands-free device.”
Texas has no statewide law banning the use of cellphones while driving, but some local North Texas areas prohibit or limit the use of cellphones while driving. Some of these areas include:
- Farmers Branch
- Grand Prairie
- Lake Dallas
- Little Elm
- Rowlett Watauga
Cellphone prohibitions in Texas include:
- Drivers with learner’s permits who are prohibited from using handheld cellphones in the first six months of driving
- All drivers under the age of 18 who are prohibited from using wireless communication devices
- School bus drivers who are prohibited from using cellphones while driving if children are present
- Drivers, of any age, in school zones, who are prohibited from texting and using handheld devices while driving
Fines range from $200 to $500. However, this does not seem to deter drivers from taking a quick glance at their phones or trying to text while driving.
A recent news report by NBC DFW states that currently, Arlington, Bedford, Denton, Farmers Branch, Grand Prairie, Rowlett and Stephenville are the only cities in North Texas that have an ordinance banning texting while driving.
Those seven cities have issued a total of 2,090 citations since the first ordinance was adopted in 2010. However, last year there were 103,576 car crashes involving a distracted driver. 463 of those accidents were fatal.
Laws to prohibit texting while driving do bring more awareness to the issue, but the laws themselves will not prevent accidents. It’s up to all drivers on the road to be responsible when behind the wheel and not put themselves and others in harm’s way just to send a text.
The website DigitalResponsibility.org gives these common sense ways to avoid texting while driving:
- Make a habit of thinking about what calls or texts you need to send before you begin your trip. Before you start the car, take a moment to think about what information you might need during the trip. For instance, program your GPS at the outset, rather than fiddling with it during the drive. Make that call to ask your mom a question before you’re on the road. Text your friend that vital piece of gossip, then put away the phone.
- The idea of a designated driver has caught on for drunk driving, and choosing a substitute can be just as useful for distracted driving. Select a friend to be your designated texter while you’re behind the wheel.
- Stow your phone somewhere you can’t peek at it. Try putting it in the glove compartment (lock it if you must) or inside a purse in the back seat.
- Silence notifications that tempt you to check your phone.
- Investigate apps that will help boost your willpower. There are several types of apps on the market, some of them free, that allow you to block incoming messages or send automatic responses to let your friends know you’re driving.
- Practice patience. Consider whether it’s worth risking your safety—and that of others in your car and on the road—to read a text while driving. Then wait until you’ve reached your destination.
- Make a promise. If you are a person of your word, consider signing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s pledge against distracted driving. Picturing your name on the pledge could help you keep your thumbs off the phone.
- If you are driving on a road with safe places to pull over, use them to stop and text.
As much as Titan Towing loves doing their job to get you out of a challenging situation, towing a vehicle for texting while driving is not a call Titan wants to get.