Distracted Driving

Pay Full Attention

Distracted driving crashes are those where distraction in the vehicle, driver inattention, or cell phone use was cited as a contributing factor. Distracted driving is consistently near the top of the list when it comes to traffic-related crash causes on Texas roadways. 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 hands-free or handheld device, the distraction affects her or his ability to drive safely.
Distracted Driving causes 1 in 10 traffic fatalities (3 times less than DUI fatalities)

Deadly Distractions

Recent data shows distracted driving fatalities trending slightly downward. Although this is welcome news, the popularity of mobile apps and devices makes reminding drivers to avoid distractions when they are behind the wheel continually important.

Too Many Fatal Distractions

Driver inattention is by far the leading category of distracted driving factors that lead to fatalities. Crashes happen quickly so the ability to respond to the situation in time can save lives. Any distraction — texting, eating, grooming, having a conversation — can be dangerous. Every vehicle occupant, regardless of age, can be affected by distracted driving so it is vitally important for drivers to be alert. Be assertive as a passenger if the driver is distracted. Complacency can lead to dire consequences that can last a lifetime or end a life.

What TxDOT is Doing

Distracted driving continues to be a problem in Texas even after a 2017 state law banned texting and driving. TxDOT’s Distracted Driving Campaign educates Texans about the law, which bans texting and driving throughout the state and all cell phone use in some areas. Other common distractions include talking on the phone, grooming, reading, eating, adjusting the radio, or navigation while driving — anything that takes the driver’s attention away from driving.
Research shows that regardless of whether you use a voice-to-text program, hands-free device or a handheld one, the distraction will affect your driving. Here are some tips to prevent distracted driving, which can lead to a ticket, or worse, a crash:
  • Always give driving your full attention
  • Pull off the road entirely and come to a complete stop before you talk or text
  • Put your phone away, turn it off, or use an app or your phone settings to block texts and calls and/or send auto reply texts while you are driving
  • Tell friends, family and coworkers you won’t respond to calls or texts when you are behind the wheel
  • Remember that all distractions are dangerous, so pay full attention when behind the wheel

Talk. Text. Crash.

The Talk. Text. Crash. campaign combines traditional paid media, public service announcements, grassroots outreach and partnerships, media relations, and digital and social media to motivate drivers to avoid distractions, especially cell phone use, behind the wheel. While the message is relevant to all drivers, new and younger drivers age 16 to 34 account for a large share of distracted driving crashes and are a particular focus. As part of the campaign, themed Bad Combos, videos feature people engaging in everyday activities that, when combined with cell phone use, result in disastrous consequences.
Picture of two crashed cars with damage to front ends. Texting and driving is a bad combination. Talk. Text. Crash. #EndTheStreakTX TxDOT