Most everyone has had a moment of inattention behind the wheel, whether it was while adjusting the temperature, trying to find a parking space or turning to address your children in the back seat. When you think about it, though, it's not difficult to see how a moment of distraction could end disastrously in a collision.
Texas readers know that drunk driving is a significant problem in the state, and it poses a serious threat to the safety and well-being of every person on the road. There is no excuse for intoxicated driving, and even a small amount of alcohol can have an effect on a driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle.
Every year, the Texas Department of Transportation records statistics on a number of subjects -- one of them being fatal automobile accidents. The state has not yet released the 2017 numbers, but the 2016 numbers show that serious or fatal car accidents happen all too often in Texas.
The issue of distracted driving isn't new. Since cars took to the road, drivers' attention has wandered away from the road and caused accidents. Since people began talking to passengers, eating, shaving or even reading a newspaper, the danger existed.
Staying connected has often been a goal of many people. With loved ones and friends living far apart, it is not unusual for parties to want to find ways in which they can easily communicate and stay updated on recent personal news. With social media and apps within arm's reach, constant communication has never been easier.
Sadly, as you may be aware, Texas regularly leads the nation in DWI fatalities. Of course, you already know the dangers of driving while intoxicated and the increased risk it means for both you and any passengers, not to mention everyone else on the road, pedestrians included. You know how important it is to arrange alternate transportation ahead of time if you're going to be drinking. If nothing else, you can call an Uber.
Every driver in Texas will likely admit to getting behind the wheel while in a hurry and driving a bit too fast at least once. However, as you know, speeding is dangerous, and the reality is that driving too fast greatly increases the chance of a car accident and the severity of a collision.
Distracted driving accidents have been on the rise in Texas and across the country, despite increased education and law enforcement efforts. While not necessarily as risky as distraction behind the wheel, distraction on the part of pedestrians is also an issue.
Driving in the Dallas area can be a challenge at times. Highways and interstates are often heavily laden with traffic, and chances are you have witnessed some close calls. No matter how cautious you are, your best efforts may not be enough to avoid a collision, especially if a distracted driver is in your midst.
Following the lead of other states across the nation, Texas recently enacted a statewide texting-while-driving ban. As of Sept. 1, it is now illegal to text while driving in Texas. A number of cities had already passed distracted driving ordinances, but state lawmakers had struggled to get a law passed until Gov. Abbott signed the new law in June.