Put Down the Phone and Focus on the Road
The Texas Department of Public Safety wants you to be safe and focused while driving the roadways. And so do other drivers.
The Texas Department of Transportation brought its “Talk, Text, Crash” campaign to Texarkana recently to urge drivers to put down the phone and minimize distractions or else run the risk of crashing. Across the state in 2014, there were 100,917 distracted-driving crashes resulting in 483 fatalities and more than 3,000 serious injuries. Last year in Texarkana, there were 163 motor vehicle crashes due to driver inattention, resulting in one serious injury.
“In Texas, texting, talking and other distractions cause nearly 1 in 5 traffic crashes,” said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director. “Through our ‘Talk, Text, Crash’ campaign we remind drivers that talking, texting, eating or even changing the radio station while driving can lead to serious injury or death. Driving requires your full attention. Anything less jeopardizes you, your loved ones and everyone else on the road.”
Compared with 2013, distracted-driving crashes in Texas last year increased by 6 percent. Distracted-driving crashes and fatalities in Texas are highest among drivers ages 16 to 24, followed by adults over the age of 45.
According to the Texas Transportation Institute, nearly 45 percent of Texas drivers admitted to using a mobile phone while driving, even though 83 percent of them agreed that talking on mobile phones while driving is dangerous.
The “Talk, Text, Crash” campaign warns drivers to refrain from multitasking while driving. If a call or other task cannot wait, drivers are advised to safely pull over and park before shifting their focus from the road. While cell phone use is the most recognized driving distraction, the “Talk, Text, Crash” campaign reminds drivers that high-risk, behind-the-wheel activities also can include:
- Checking email
- Eating and drinking
- Programming a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player or other audio device