October is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This month is about raising awareness and finding solutions to prevent injuries and fatalities on our roadways. It’s a time to have meaningful conversations about safe driving behaviors and the dangers of distracted driving.
Distracted driving is anything that keeps your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and your mind off the important task of driving. It takes many forms and isn’t just about texting or talking. A lot of things can keep you from driving safely besides your phone – eating, having a conversation with a passenger, attending to children, putting on makeup, or changing radio stations.
Distracted driving can have dire consequences. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
- One in five crashes on our state’s roads is caused by a distracted driver.
- In 2019, there were 100,000 crashes and more than 370 fatalities across the state caused by distracted driving.
- In 2019, there were 22 distracted driving fatalities in Harris County.
Crash statistics and death rates are not just numbers. Deputy Lillibridge, with our Vehicular Crimes Division, reminds us there’s a person and a grieving family behind each statistic. Lives can be lost forever because one text couldn’t wait.
TxDOT and our Vehicular Crimes Division encourage drivers to:
- Always give driving your full attention. It’s against the law in Texas to read, write or send a text while driving.
- Make any adjustments to your GPS, seats, mirrors, radio, and air condition before getting on the road.
- Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time.
National Teen Driver Safety Week
Did you know the leading cause of death for teenagers in our country is car crashes? Learning to drive can be an overwhelming time for teenagers and their caregivers. Parents who are preparing to hand car keys to their teen are encouraged to take steps to help their loved one become a safe and capable driver before they get behind the wheel.
Our partners at AAA Texas are hosting several free virtual teen driver workshops through the remainder of the year to help teens and their parents navigate this important milestone. The interactive workshop will help participants understand teen driving habits, the common risks associated with teen drivers, any driver restrictions or requirements, and what to look for in a driving school.
Education and awareness are key to preventing these tragedies. Let’s all do our part and commit to driving safely to end the streak of daily deaths on our roadways.