With nearly 1 in 5 crashes in the state involving distracted driving, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is launching a campaign to remind drivers that their undivided attention to the road could save a life.
In 2017, 19% of vehicle crashes on Texas roads involved distracted driving. Those 100,687 crashes resulted in 444 deaths and 2,889 serious injuries. In an effort to curb distracted-driving crashes, TxDOT is launching its new “Heads up, Texas” campaign in partnership with AT&T “It Can Wait.” The centerpiece of the campaign is a 19-city, distracted-driving virtual reality experience launching in Waco on April 4.
According to AT&T “It Can Wait,” the majority of Texans ages 15-54 admit to driving distracted because of their smartphone. Additionally, nearly all Texans surveyed consider smartphone distractions to be dangerous while driving, but around 89% of them admit they do it.
Effective Sept. 1, 2017, a texting-while-driving ban was written into law making it illegal to read, write or send a text while driving in Texas. Violators can face a fine up to $200. Though texting while driving is now punishable by law, it is not the only smartphone activity putting Texas drivers and passengers at risk. Among those Texans surveyed by AT&T “It Can Wait,” the top 5 smartphone distractions while driving are texting, snapping/viewing photos, playing music, emailing and accessing social media.