Thousands of Texans Injured or Killed in Distracted Driving Wrecks in 2015

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Did you know that about one in five auto accidents in Texas involves a distracted driver? In fact, there were 4,185 distracted driving wrecks in Austin in 2015 alone. Statewide last year, there were 463 deaths and more than 3,000 serious injuries -- all due to distracted driving. Despite increased efforts to educate drivers, the message is still not sinking in. The reality is that distracted driving is a life-taker, and the Texas Department of Transportation is trying to make that message clear with its annual campaign, "Talk, Text, Crash." Distraction is a problem among all age groups of drivers, but studies have shown that the problem is particularly bad among young drivers. Knowing this, TxDOT is taking an educational exhibit around to college campuses, most recently the UT campus in Austin. The interactive exhibit features stories and images of Texans who have been hurt or killed in distracted driving wrecks. Another prominent part of the exhibit is a car-sized model of a smartphone that appears to have been destroyed in a crash. Students can also participate in a distracted driving simulator that shows firsthand how driver distraction causes impairment. Efforts to raise awareness must be ongoing, and a multi-pronged approach is necessary to prevent distracted driving crashes. Texting while driving is known to be the most dangerous form of driver distraction, although people become distracted in their vehicles in a variety of ways -- and switching to a hands-free device is not the simple answer. For more on that, see our previous post on hands-free versus handheld devices. It is worth noting, too, that texting while driving is banned in Austin. We discussed the ban and the statistical reasoning for it in one our previous posts, as well. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, then don't hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney to explain your case. Even if it is clear that the other driver caused the wreck, the insurance company does not always have your best interests at heart, and a personal injury lawyer can help you get full and fair compensation for your injury.

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