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San Antonio Municipal Court Joins Effort to Combat Distracted Driving

Man using a smart phone while driving a car in the city.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

San Antonio officials stepped up efforts this month to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, which has become one of the leading causes of car accidents nationwide, especially in Texas.

"80 percent of vehicle crashes are caused by distracted driving," San Antonio Police Chief McManus said in a recent interview with News 4 San Antonio. "Every day, 9 people die (nationwide) as a result of distracted driving."

How common are distracted driving accidents in Texas?

McManus recently spoke with News 4 SA about distracted driving accidents. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a nationwide event aimed at educating drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.

In San Antonio, the city is stepping up efforts this month since the problem is even worse here and in communities across Texas. According to accident data compiled by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), at least one in six motor vehicle accidents in Texas is caused by a distracted driver. Specifically, distracted drivers in Texas caused 2,793 injuries and 399 fatalities in 2023.

Another study conducted by Forbes based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) accident data found that 9.29 percent of all traffic deaths in Texas were due to distracted drivers.

What is the Talk.Text.Crash campaign?

TxDOT has an ongoing educational campaign called "Talk.Text.Crash." This campaign teaches people about the dangers of distracted driving and urges Texas drivers to put their phones down while driving.

According to TxDOT, "all distractions—whether texting, eating, grooming, or having a conversation—can be dangerous." Distracted driving can impact every driver and every passenger, regardless of age.

What is San Antonio doing to combat the problem?

Along with members of the San Antonio Police Department, other city officials and members of the San Antonio Municipal Court have been working to get the word out this month about why distracted driving is so dangerous.

"Just like we learned to put on our seatbelts when we first get into the car, now we need to change our thoughts and our attitudes about our phones when we're driving," said Karin Zaltsman at a recent event hosted by the San Antonio Municipal Court. "The ripple effect it causes, the rest of the family, the community, Emily's friends… everyone is affected."

Zaltsman knows personally about the dangers of distracted driving. Her daughter, Emily, tragically died in a car accident caused by a driver who was texting at the time of the collision.

What are the distracted driving laws in Texas?

Texas has strict distracted driving laws, including regulations prohibiting texting. In 2017, Texas passed a law that prohibits texting while driving. Specifically, Texas Transportation Code, Section 545.4251 bans reading, writing, or sending a text message or other electronic messages (such as emails) while driving. Drivers who violate this law face fines of up to $200 for each violation.

What to do if you're injured by a distracted driver

If a distracted driver injured you or a loved one in a car accident, you probably think you don't need a lawyer to help you navigate the claims process. However, obtaining the compensation you rightfully deserve can often be a lot more complicated than you might expect. Sometimes, it's because the at-fault driver denies doing anything wrong. Other times, the insurance company gets in the way and refuses to offer a settlement that covers the full extent of the victim's losses.

Whatever the circumstances of your case, our car accident attorneys at The Herrera Law Firm in San Antonio can help you every step of the way. Our lawyers know which legal strategies are the most effective, which is why we have such a strong track record of success.

Get a law firm that understands winning isn't luck, it's knowing how to fight. Our office is located on West Commerce Street in San Antonio, and we handle accident claims throughout Bexar County. We also work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no fees unless we win your case. Schedule a free case evaluation today to learn more.

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