While the State of Texas currently does have laws prohibiting teen drivers from using cell phones while on the road, it does not have any laws banning adults for the same thing. As auto accident lawyers in Austin follow this controversial subject, it becomes clear that Texas residents seem divided on the issue of banning the use of cell phones while driving. Many residents think it is called for, appealing to the success of similar California laws, but Governor Rick Perry sided with others who appeal to personal liberty by vetoing recent legislation, calling it an effort to “micromanage the behavior of adults.”
Recent research at the University of California, Berkeley have shown that California laws universally banning cell phone driving for both teens and adults have proven to be effective and have saved lives. According to the report, since July 2008 when the cell phone ban was put into effect, there has been almost a full quarter decline overall in the number of traffic fatalities. The report concludes that in the two years following implementation, “the hand-held cell phone ban appeared to have saved upwards of 70-80 lives and prevented about 5,000 injuries.”
Talking on a cell phone or texting while driving is a dangerous decision whether it is banned by law or not, and almost every auto accident lawyer in Austin has had his or her fair share of clients who can attest to this. Incidents of accidents caused by cell phone use, according to one auto accident lawyer in Austin, are comparable to accidents caused by drinking and driving or driving under the influence of drugs.
“The problem is that people think they can multitask, when in reality there is no such thing,” says one researcher in Texas. “There are different levels of tasks that can be rated according to how much of our concentration we use in performing them. So while we can listen to music and work, we are not really fully engaged in listening to music if we are fully engaged working; we are not really cognizant of the music we are hearing from moment to moment. Our brains can really only handle one first level task at a time. Studies have shown that people who think they are great at multitasking really are far more inefficient than those who approach one task at a time. When you text while driving, it is like closing your eyes and letting go of the wheel every few minutes. It’s inherently dangerous.”
Anyone who has been a victim of a texting while driving accident should consult with an auto accident lawyer in Austin as soon as possible in order to protect their rights to full compensation.