Distracted driving is a serious national problem, and statistics suggest it is only getting worse. An estimated one out of every five traffic accidents in Texas is caused by distracted driving. The month of April has been designated as distracted driving awareness month. To further call awareness to the problem of distracted driving, the Texas Department of Transportation has launched the campaign “Talk. Text. Crash.” The campaign will incorporate a variety of ads and publications that Texas safety officials hope will help to save lives.
Distracted Driving Defined
Distracted driving involves driving while performing any other activity that takes your attention away from the task of operating a motor vehicle. Some of the most high-risk activities include:
- Programming a GPS
- Changing radio channels
- Using social media
Distracted driving has always existed, but the invention and wide-scale adoption of smart mobile devices has launched distracted driving to a new level. Today’s drivers will often admit to routinely using their smartphones while operating a motor vehicle, creating hazardous conditions for all road users.
Preventing Distracted Driving
Eliminating the problem of distracted driving starts with you. All drivers in Texas are encouraged to follow some basic steps so that they are not tempted to drive distracted. Drivers should:
- Stow their phones in a safe and out of reach location while driving or turn the phone off while on the road;
- If you must send a text or take a call, pull over to a safe location;
- Download and use a cell phone app that blocks texts and calls while the vehicle is in motion;
- Have your teen take a safe driving pledge;
- Raise awareness of the problem of distracted driving by discussing the dangers with others.
If you are injured in an accident that may have involved a distracted driver, contact a Texas car accident attorney right away. Your attorney will investigate the facts surrounding the crash to determine your legal rights. Distracted drivers may be liable for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more, depending on the nature of the crash.