Distracted driving crashes on the rise

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 4:43pm

Despite knowing the dangers of distracted driving, alarming statistics show that it's on the rise here in Texas.

So in an effort to coincide with April being "National Distracted Driving Awareness Month" TxDOT is ramping up their efforts to get you to put down the phone and get your eyes back on the streets.

Admit it; at some point we've all checked our phones or sent a quick text to a friend while behind the wheel.

"When you see a notification, your mind just instantly wants to go and see what it is," said driver Barry Isensee.

You may think sending a four second text is harmless but in reality it's deadly.

Just last July a 55-year-old man was killed when he crashed into an 18-wheeler in Grimes County because he was distracted. An accident DPS says could have been prevented.

Trooper Kenneth Balzekas said, "It's almost just the same if not worse than an intoxicated motorist and in this case he was on his phone and on a laptop looking down, not up, and it cost him his life."

According to crash data collected by TxDOT, there were more than 90,000 distracted driving related crashes in 2012 and 453 of those resulted in death -- that's an eight percent increase from the year before.

To make Texas roadways safer, Bob Colwell with TxDOT, says they're launching the "Talk. Text. Crash Campaign."

"We have more gadgets in our day-in-age to play with inside our vehicles than ever before and so we're asking everyone to remember what the number one goal is when you get behind the wheel and that's to get from point A to point B."

Because one text message could cost you your life so the next time your phone rings in the car, ask yourself -- is it really worth it?


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