Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) say drivers who use a cell phone behind the wheel are four times more likely to get into a crash serious enough to cause injury. In addition, a study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) revealed almost half of Texas drivers have admitted using a cell phone while driving, and almost a quarter of drivers say they sometimes or regularly send or read text messages while driving. Distracted driving-related crashes in Texas are highest among young adults ages 16 to 24, followed by adults over the age of 44. Last year in Texas, 505 people were killed and 19,981 people were seriously injured in distracted driving crashes.
The Distracted Driving Summit is part of TxDOT’s "Talk, Text, Crash" campaign to warn motorists of the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel. While cell phone use is the most recognizable driving distraction, any behavior that takes a motorist’s attention away from the road is dangerous.
Distractions can include:
- Checking email
- Eating and drinking
- Programming a navigation system
- Adjusting a radio, CD player or other audio device