TxDOT Launches "Heads Up, Texas" Campaign to Curb Distracted Driving


Contact: Sonja Gross

Phone: (806) 356-3256

Date: April 9, 2018


AMARILLO – April is National Distracted Driving Month, and with nearly 1 in 5 crashes in Texas involving distracted driving – a ratio that has not changed in the past three years – the Texas Department of Transportation reminds drivers that their undivided attention to the road could save a life.

“It’s extremely concerning that drivers still choose to give their attention to things other than the road when they’re behind the wheel,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “As a society, we’re more connected than ever to our devices and easily tempted to multitask, but drivers need to understand all of these various distractions can lead to a tragic outcome.”

In 2017, 19 percent of vehicle crashes on Texas roads involved distracted driving. Those 100,687 crashes resulted in 444 deaths and 2,889 serious injuries. In the Amarillo District, the number of motor vehicle traffic crashes that involved distracted driving (distraction, driver inattention or cell-phone use) totaled 578 in 2017. These crashes resulted in three deaths and 18 serious injuries. The Amarillo District includes Armstrong, Carson, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Gray, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Potter, Randall, Roberts, and Sherman counties.

In an effort to curb distracted-driving crashes, TxDOT launched its new “Heads up, Texas” campaign in partnership with AT&T It Can Wait. The centerpiece of the campaign is a 19-city, distracted-driving virtual reality experience that will make its way to Amarillo Monday, April 23, with an event at Amarillo High School.

According to AT&T It Can Wait, the majority of Texans ages 15-54 admit to driving distracted because of their smartphone. Additionally, nearly all Texans surveyed consider smartphone distractions to be dangerous while driving, but nearly 9 out of 10, or 89 percent, admit they do it.

“The It Can Wait campaign shares a simple message: Distracted driving is never OK,” said Ryan Luckey, assistant vice president of Corporate Brand Marketing for AT&T. “We’re proud to join TxDOT in sharing that message with Texans through revealing survey data and events that highlight the dangers and the new law.”

Effective Sept. 1, 2017, a texting-while-driving ban was written into law making it illegal to read, write, or send a text while driving in Texas. Violators can face a fine up to $200. Though texting while driving is now punishable by law, it’s not the only smartphone activity putting Texas drivers and passengers at risk. Among those Texans surveyed by AT&T It Can Wait, the top 5 smartphone distractions while driving are:

  • Texting
  • Snapping/viewing photos
  • Playing music
  • Emailing
  • Accessing social media

Find more information about TxDOT’s “Heads up, Texas” campaign.

For media inquiries related to AT&T It Can Wait and smartphone distracted driving, please contact Diane Brandon, Diane.Brandon@att.com, 214-850-0563.

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The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, we deliver a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods.  Find out more at TxDOT.gov. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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