AUSTIN -- As the number of crashes caused by distracted drivers continues to rise, the Texas Department of Transportation is urging motorists to put away their mobile devices and other distractions, and pay attention to the road. April marks National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the kickoff of TxDOTs annual Talk, Text, Crash public education campaign.
"The statistics in Texas are sobering," said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director. "One in five traffic crashes in Texas is caused by a distracted driver, and last year 459 people were killed as a result. Those deaths were preventable. Its simple: We want drivers to focus 100 percent on driving when theyre behind the wheel - for their sake and the sake of others."
Distracted driving-related crashes and fatalities in Texas are highest among young adults and adults over the age of 45. In 2013, the number of Texas crashes involving distracted driving totaled 94,943, up 4 percent from the previous year.
While cell phone use is the most recognizable driving distraction, any type of behavior that draws a motorists attention away from driving is dangerous. Distractions can include:
- Checking email
- Eating and drinking
- Programming a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player or other audio device
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