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Number of Distracted Driving Accidents Increasing in Texas

Number of Distracted Driving Accidents Increasing in Texas

Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving Increase by 3%

Distracted driving-related accidents in Texas increased by 3 percent in the past year, and cell phone use is not the sole issue.

In recent years, the hot button issue with distracted driving is cell phone usage, which is one of the most common types of distractions that drivers face while behind the wheel. However, a number of acts that people partake in during their daily commutes constitute as a distraction. Multi-tasking has become second nature to most, and while it’s useful in most situations, it can prove deadly while behind the wheel.

Types of Distractions

Rhonda Oaks, a writer for The Lufkin News, challenged herself to a simple experiment: drive the short, 7 mile drive from her home to work without getting distracted. Surprisingly, even when actively trying, she failed. According to Oaks, she became distracted by the sites along the road as she drove, and she picked up her cell phone as an immediate reaction to hearing an email alert.

In this case, a cell phone distraction did come into play; however, Oaks also looked away from the road to see the sights—pointing out that anything directing your attention away from the road is a considered a distraction. Tasks, such as changing the radio, eating, or applying makeup command your focus. In most distracted driving-related car accidents, the drivers encounter the collision within mere seconds (which is easy to understand when you realize that at 55 miles per hour, your vehicle travels the length of a football field in just four seconds).

While the State of Texas has failed in its multiple attempts to pass a statewide ban on texting and driving, many cities in Texas have passed laws banning texting while driving as well as more-restrictive hands-free laws. In fact, at least 64 Texas cities currently have such local ordinances on the books.

Distracted Driving Rates Increase in Texas

Last year, 103,576 collisions in Texas were attributed to distracted driving, which is an increase of 3 percent from 2014. The worst distracted driving offenders are individuals between the ages of 16 and 34. This age group tends to carry a greater “on-the-go” mentality, causing them to multitask more-frequently than other drivers.

“Last year, driver distractions killed 463 Texans and seriously injured another 3,076 Texans,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Moseley. “Texans are dying on our roads simply because some drivers cannot wait until they’re stopped to check their email or make a phone call. That one text, post or phone call is not worth injuring or killing yourself, or someone else.”

In light of these facts, numerous campaigns have launched in order to educate drivers on the dangers of driving while distracted. The goal is make drivers more-aware of the risks in order to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

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