Texting while driving has become a pervasive problem in the United States. Motorists who use cell phones while operating a motor vehicle have a higher risk of involvement in an accident than drivers who don’t, whether holding the phone or using a hands-free device. Texas law enforcement authorities reported that as many as 1/5 of the 3,700+ deaths on Texas roads in 2016 were caused by distracted driving.
On September 1, 2017, Governor Greg Abbott signed Texas House Bill 62 which made it illegal in Texas to read, write, or send electronic messages while driving. Drivers may text if the vehicle is stopped or if an emergency exists. The bill defines an electronic message as “data that is read from or entered into a wireless communication device for the purpose of communicating with another person.”