New drivers are the most dangerous drivers on the road. Even if a newly-licensed driver aced their exam, they are still missing the years of experience a seasoned driver has. Because of this, and because the vast majority of drivers get their license in their teens, most states set up additional provisions for teen drivers. Texas is no exception.
Cell phones are one of the more recent scourges to new drivers. In the last several years, they have gone from useful accessory, to handy distraction, to necessary appendage. Every demographic has been affected by cell phone culture, but teens remain the poster children and the most dangerous place to be distracted is behind the wheel of your car.
The statistics don't lie, either. It's now reported that 1 in every 4 crashes involves some form of driver distraction, cell phone use being the number-one culprit. And although Texas still doesn't have a statewide law that prohibits the use of cell phones while driving, there are restrictions for teens. In Texas, drivers with learner's permits may not use cell phones while driving for the first 6 months of holding a permit. Also, drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any wireless communications devices.
There are also certain restrictions for all Texas drivers. Cell phone use is prohibited in school crossing zones, and, as of February 2012, several cities have enacted anti-texting laws. Cities include Austin, El Paso, Galveston, Mount Vernon, and Shoreacres. To view the complete list, visit the Texas Department of Transportation site.
Texas is also strict on their underage DUI laws, even if they are relatively lenient with underage drinking when it's not behind the wheel. Did you know that in Texas, minors can drink, so long as it's on a private residence, and with the consent of a legal guardian?
Once that minor gets behind the wheel, though, it's zero-tolerance in Texas. If there's any trace of alcohol in the underage driver's system, he or she can be charged with DUI. This carries with it a $500 fine and possible license suspension, along with a host of other charges.
Texas seat belt laws are fairly obvious. Are you an adult? Wear them. Are you a child? Definitely wear them. Children under 8 and shorter than 4'9" must be secured into a safety seat. Children 8-17 or taller than 4'9" can wear the regular seat belt. It's just a good idea to follow this law no matter what. It takes no time at all to click the belt, and it could very well add years to your life.
With Texas texting laws, DWI laws, and seat belt laws being so strict, the value derived from a high-caliber Texas driver education program can not only keep you safe, it can save you time and money by instilling lifelong safe driving practices.