TxDOT Warns: Talk. Text. Crash.
November 4, 2015 - On November 4th from 1:00-3:15 PM the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Passenger Safety Project is bringing the State Farm Distracted Driving Simulator to teach teens at Shelbyville High School the dangers of distracted driving. The simulator is made possible through a grant from State Farm to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Passenger Safety Project in cooperation with TxDOT. Shelby County Extension Agent Jheri-Lynn McSwain along with Principal Mario Osby and school nurse Jeane Taylor has requested the program to help increase safe driving for Shelbyville students.
With technology at their fingertips, drivers are constantly faced with distractions, such as talking or texting, which places their safety and that of others at serious risk. TxDOT’s Talk. Text. Crash. campaign raises awareness of the dangers associated with distracted driving and encourages Texans to put down their cell phones while driving.
Distracted driving is becoming increasingly common and dangerous, causing traffic crashes and fatalities. This deadly trend is widespread in Texas, where nearly one in five crashes involves driver distraction, according to TxDOT.
Drivers can be distracted by conversing with other passengers, eating, smoking, manipulating dashboard controls, reaching for something in the vehicle, and talking or texting on a cell phone. Among the many distractions drivers face on the road, cell phone use is one of the most common and a major cause of distracted driving traffic accidents and fatalities. At any given moment during the daylight hours, over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
While distractions affect drivers of all ages, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that hand-held cell phone use is highest among 16- to 24-year-olds. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted. In Texas, 46 percent of urban teens and 52 percent of rural teens talk on a cell phone while driving, and nearly the same percentage text while driving. (Texas A&M Transportation Institute). A recent study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that distracted driving among teens was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted; 11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. In Texas, 46 percent of urban teens and 52 percent of rural teens talk on a cell phone while driving, and nearly the same percentage text while driving. (Texas Transportation Institute).
Eliminating distractions and putting away cell phones while driving can and will save lives. Although cell phone use is the most easily recognized distraction, all in-vehicle distractions are unsafe and can cause crashes or fatalities. Keep your eyes on the road and arrive alive!