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2014 efforts to curb distracted driving in Texas

Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation reveal that distracted driving causes thousands of accidents every year in the state. In 2012, more than 90,000 crashes involved a diver being distracted. One of the common devices cited in these accidents is the cell phone. Polling revealed a seeming contradiction in 2012 with nearly 85 percent of drivers reporting that talking on a mobile phone while driving was dangerous even as half of respondents admitted to using it while driving. A study by the Texas Transportation Institute later found that 10 percent of drivers are talking on cell phones while driving at any point during the day.

The Texas DOT has attempted to put a dent in the 2014 numbers for distracted driving accidents. The DOT's executive director stated that this is one category of auto accidents that is entirely preventable. One of their efforts included launching a statewide educational campaign in April that targeted advertising on the Internet, television, outdoor locations and public events. This effort was joined by AT&T and coincided with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

The number of distracted driving accidents and deaths has risen in recent years, but these numbers only tell part of the story. Lost in the statistics are numerous families mourning loved ones, facing financial uncertainty and a radically changed lifestyle due to a stranger's negligence. Other Texas victims may have years or a lifetime of medical expenses and painful treatments to face due to spinal cord injuries or brain injuries. When insurance companies fail to cover the full damages caused by a distracted driver, victims may receive help from an attorney experienced with lawsuits and settlements in car accident cases.

Source: Texas A&M Transportation Institute, "As Distracted Driving Becomes an Increasing Threat on Texas Roadways, TxDOT Ramps Up Public Education," April 8, 2013

Source: Texas Department of Transportation, "Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics - 2013", October 03, 2014

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