April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and TxDOT is continuing its TALK. TEXT. CRASH. campaign to raise awareness of the dangers associated with distracted driving and urging motorists to put away their mobile devices and pay attention to the road.
38 percent of Texas drivers admitted to talking on their mobile phone while driving at least some of the time, according to a survey conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, and more than one-fifth (21.2 percent) of drivers said they read or send text messages or emails when behind the wheel. Last year, more than 100,000 car crashes involve distracted driving and caused preventable deaths.
The Talk, Text, and Crash campaign warns motorists about the dangers of distractions and urges them to avoid multitasking or engaging in non-driving activities until they arrive at their destination.
So what activities constitute distracted driving? Cell phones and electronic gadgets are not the only causes of distracted driving, others include:
- Posting to social media
- Loud music;
- Loud conversations with other passengers;
- Eating or drinking;
- Attending to animals and/or other passengers in the car;
- Changing radio stations;
- Powerful emotions, such as anger, frustration, or even elation/enthusiasm.
Basically, anything that takes your mind off the task at hand (driving safely) can, at least theoretically, increase your risk of getting into a crash.
The best way to end distracted driving is to educate yourself and others about its danger. Any behavior that draws a driver’s attention away from driving is dangerous.