The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is taking its Talk, Text, Crash campaign on the road this summer with events around the state to call attention to the epidemic of driver distractions that caused more than 100,000 traffic crashes in Texas last year. In 2014, the number of Texas crashes involving distracted driving was up almost 6 percent from the previous year.

Joined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, law enforcement, and community leaders, TxDOT is urging motorists to focus 100 percent on driving when they are behind the wheel. Cell phone use may be one of the most visible distractions, but any behavior that takes a driver’s attention away from the road is dangerous, including eating, reading, grooming, programming a GPS, or adjusting the radio.

DISTRACTED DRIVING FACTS

  • Last year in Texas, distracted driving caused 100,917 crashes, resulting in 483 fatalities and more than 3,000 serious injuries. (TxDOT)
  • Reaction times double when drivers read or send text messages. (TTI)
  • Texting takes your eyes off the road for nearly five seconds, on average. At 55 mph, that is like driving an entire football field blindfolded. (NHTSA)
  • Research conducted in 2013 found that almost 45 percent of Texas drivers admit to using a mobile phone while driving and know it is dangerous. (IIHS)

Driving requires 100 percent undivided attention. Motorists should:

  • Put the phone away—or turn it off—before getting behind the wheel.
  • Pull off the road to a safe location before texting or talking on the phone.
  • Tell friends and coworkers you will not respond to calls or texts when driving.
  • Any activity that keeps you from paying 100 percent attention to your driving is a distraction.