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TxDot Announces New Distracted Driving Campaign

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot) has recently announced a new ad campaign focused on creating awareness of the potential dangers of distracted driving. The campaign, called "Talk. Text. Crash." is aimed at informing Texans about the large number of car accidents caused by distracted drivers.

According to the agency, last year, 3,147 Texas motor vehicle accidents were the direct result of some type of cell phone use. Of those crashes, 40 resulted in fatalities. Teen drivers were frequently texters or talkers while behind the wheel. TxDot cited a study by the Texas Transportation Institute that stated 42 percent of urban teens and 48 percent of rural teens admitted to texting while driving.

People often do not understand what is so dangerous about taking their eyes off of the road for a few seconds. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have compared distracted driving and drunk driving. Using a cell phone while behind the wheel delays a driver's reactions roughly the same as when a driver has a blood-alcohol content over .08, the current legal limit in Texas.

Many studies focused on distracted driving have come to the same conclusion: talking or texting while driving will greatly increase your risk of having an accident. No matter how quickly your attention turns back to the road, this short period can lead to serious consequences.

Texas does not currently have rules in place that ban the use of a cell phone while driving. Each year, bills are proposed in the legislature, but each year, they fail to gain the support needed to pass.

Many other states already have these rules in place, and there are even federal rules dealing with truck drivers engaged in distracted driving. The U.S. Department of Transportation has already implemented rules that put harsh penalties in place on drivers of commercial vehicles that use handheld cell phones while driving.

Source: Texas Department of Transportation "Talk. Text. Crash. - Distracted Driving Campaign"

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