Over 20 years since last deathless day on Texas roads, TxDOT warns of distracted driving

El Paso News

El Paso, Texas (KTSM) – April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Texas Department of Transportation is urging all Texans to keep their eyes on the road.

TxDoT’s campaign is aimed towards stopping the streak of deaths on Texas roads.

Jennifer Wright, spokesperson for TxDoT, said that the last deathless day on Texas roads was November 7, 2000.

“We’re trying to end that streak,” said Wright, adding “distracted driving crashes are preventable almost 100 percent of the time.”

There were 1,805 crashes caused by distracted driving in 2020 in El Paso, according to TxDoT.

Out of those crashes, 16 people died and 29 were left with serious injuries.

Wright said the most common age group to be involved in crashes caused by distracted driving are from 16 to 24 years old.

“The time it takes to read a text, you can go off the road, you can go into oncoming traffic, you can hit a pedestrian or cyclist, so it’s best if you just put that phone down and don’t think about it,” she said.

She explained that anything that either takes your eyes or mind off the road is considered a distraction. It can be your phone, changing the radio station, eating, drinking or grooming while driving.

Your passenger can also be a distraction, she said. The passenger is supposed to take care of the navigation and help the driver stay focused, she added.

TxDoT also relaunched their mobile video game Dart Those Distractions, to help raise awareness of all the activities that are not supposed to be done while driving.

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