TxDOT: Despite Education Efforts, Distracted Driving on the Rise in Texas

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Despite increased efforts to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving, statistics show that driver distraction is on the rise in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, statewide there were 103,576 distraction-related wrecks in 2015, representing a 3-percent increase from the year before. And the reality is that the number of distracted driving accidents is likely even higher, given that proving distraction was a factor in a crash isn't always easy. Distracted driving accidents happen most often among drivers aged 16 to 34, but driver distraction is a problem among all age groups. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and as we discussed in a recent post, TxDOT's "Talk, Text, Crash" campaign kicked off this month to warn drivers about the possible fatal consequences of driving distractedly. Thousands of Texans are killed or seriously injured in distracted driving crashes each year, and now is an opportune time to speak with friends and loved ones about the importance of paying full attention to the road when behind the wheel. That means avoiding mental, manual and visual distractions, including smartphones, CD players and GPS devices. Texting while driving is known to be the most dangerous distraction because it requires the driver's manual, cognitive and visual attention, but distracted driving takes many forms. Distracted driving is not limited to texting and driving. Studies have shown that drivers become dangerously distracted for a variety of reasons, including eating, grooming, emailing and reaching for objects inside the vehicle. In addition to pledging not to engage in distracted driving, Texans can also help prevent wrecks by telling friends and loved ones to wait until they are parked or out of the vehicle to respond to texts and phone calls from friends and family. People may feel especially pressured to answer when a family member calls or texts, and unfortunately that pressure can lead to devastating consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, don't hesitate to speak with a personal injury attorney about your options for obtaining the maximum in compensation. The insurance company may offer you a settlement that doesn't cover all of the costs resulting from the wreck, and a lawyer can help you get the full and fair compensation you need and deserve.

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