08/20/2015 // 1-800 Car Wreck // (press release)

The Texas Department of Transportation is seeking to reduce incidents of texting while driving in the state by ramping up its anti-texting and driving campaign. Recently, the agency took its message to both Houston and Austin, not long after a statewide ban on the dangerous driving distraction failed to gain passage in the Texas Senate.

Source: KXAN Report “TxDOT recharging message against texting and driving”

“AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you’re driving in Downtown Austin near the Paramount Theater on Congress Avenue on Wednesday, you’ll notice the Texas Department of Transportation’s new campaign to keep you from talking and texting while driving. It’s called “Talk, Text, Crash.”

To read more visit http://kxan.com/2015/06/24/txdot-powers-up-campaign-against-texting-and-driving/.

“Talk, Text, Crash”

The TxDOT campaign called “Talk, Text, Crash” reminds drivers of the consequences related to talking or texting while driving. The agency encourages drivers to wait until they have reached their destinations before conducting any non-driving activity, to avoid dangerous distractions.

John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director, stated in a press release issued by the agency “In Texas, texting, talking and other distractions cause nearly 1 in 5 traffic crashes… Through our ‘Talk, Text, Crash’ campaign we remind drivers that talking, texting, eating or even changing the radio station while driving can lead to serious injury or death. Driving requires your full attention. Anything less jeopardizes you, your loved ones and everyone else on the road.”

In 2009, Austin was the first city to adopt an ordinance that enforced a ban on texting while driving citywide. Surrounding cities like San Antonio have adopted ordinances that place restrictions on cell phone use by drivers. Houston is one major city that to the surprise of many has no regulations of this sort. Many were hoping that the failed measure would have gained passage in the Senate for areas that have no current city ordinance to give consequences to drivers who text while on the road. Houston based personal injury attorney Amy Witherite, who has worked with several clients in the area who have been negatively impacted by distracted driving, “Houston is one city in Texas in particular where an ordinance should be in place so that those who choose to text while driving are fined or reprimanded for putting the lives of others at risk in this way.”

Statistics show that for the entire state of Texas there were more than 100,000 distracted driving crashes last year related to behind-the-wheel activities like:

  • Texting
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Navigation system programming
  • Viewing videos on mobile devices
  • And other distractions

A study by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA estimates that 9 percent of all fatal crashes and 18 percent of all injury crashes in 2010 were linked to distracted driving nationwide.

Witherite further suggests that those in cities like Houston can still ensure that drivers who cause them to become injured in an accident by texting and driving can still be legally held accountable for their bad acts regardless of whether an anti-texting ordinance has been put in place. Says the Houston attorney “civil legal action against negligent drivers is one means of making sure they are held liable for injuries innocent victims sustain because someone carelessly chose to text and drive. This way guilty parties at least have to pay the financial damages that result.”

More information about the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Talk, Text, Crash” campaign can be found by visiting the TxDOT website online.