Distracted driving continues to plague Texas roadways
AUSTIN – Sadly, distracted driving is still near the top of the list when it comes to crashes on Texas roadways, coming in at No. 2 for traffic-related crash causes. Last year Texas roadways saw nearly 1 in 5 crashes caused by a distracted driver in which 364 people died and 2,200 were seriously injured.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and TxDOT is reminding all Texans to put their phones down and give driving their full attention whenever they are behind the wheel.
Dangerous distractions include any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from safely operating a vehicle. Research shows that regardless of whether a driver uses a voice-to-text program, hands-free device or a handheld one, the distraction will affect the driver’s ability to drive safely.
Since Sept. 1, 2017, it has been illegal to read, write or send a text while driving in Texas. Violators can face a fine up to $200.
TxDOT offers these tips to prevent distracted driving that can lead to a ticket, or worse, a crash:
- Always give driving your full attention.
- Pull off the road entirely and come to a complete stop before you talk or text.
- Put your phone away, turn it off, or use an app or your phone settings to block texts and calls while driving.
- Tell friends, family and co-workers you won’t respond to texts or calls while driving.
- Remember that all distractions are dangerous, so pay full attention when behind the wheel.
TxDOT’s distracted driving awareness campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, like wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.
For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txDOT.gov or (512) 463-8700.