AUSTIN – The "Talk, Text, Crash" campaign by the Texas Department of Transportation is an effort to urge drivers to put away cellphones, avoid distractions and give the road their full attention.
The department said its safety campaign coincides with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.
TxDOT is hoping the campaign will reach more people and reduce crashes. TxDOT said there are more than 100,000 statewide traffic crashes involving distracted driving each year.
"Last year, driver distractions killed 463 Texans and seriously injured another 3,076 Texans," Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Moseley said. "Texans are dying on our roads simply because some drivers cannot wait until they're stopped to check their email or make a phone call. That one text, post or phone call is not worth injuring or killing yourself, or someone else."
TxDOT said Texas had 103,576 traffic crashes in 2015 related to distraction, which is an increase of 3 percent from 2014. Distracted driving-related crashes are highest among younger drivers ages 16 to 34, according to the department.
The campaign aims to remind drivers to wait until later to talk or text. While mobile phone use is the most recognized driving distraction, TxDOT said it also urges drivers to avoid the following high-risk, behind-the-wheel activities:
- Posting to social media
- Checking email
- Programming a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player or other audio devices
TxDOT said any type of behavior that draws a driver's attention away from the road is dangerous.