Distracted driving comes in second for the cause of traffic crashes in Texas, state transportation officials say.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that one in five traffic crashes are caused by cell phone use and other distracted behavior. Distracted driving-caused traffic accidents resulted in 364 deaths and 2,200 serious injuries in Texas last year.
Dangerous distractions include any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from safely operating a vehicle. Research shows that regardless of whether a driver uses a voice-to-text program, hands-free device or a handheld one, the distraction will affect the driver’s ability to drive safely.
Since Sept. 1, 2017, it has been illegal to read, write or send a text while driving in Texas. Violators can face a fine up to $200.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and TxDOT is reminding all Texans to put their phones down and give driving their full attention whenever they are behind the wheel.
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