In addition to speeding and drunk driving, distracted driving is one of the most common causes of serious accidents in Texas. In fact, the state passed laws prohibiting device use behind the wheel in 2011.
Review these facts about distracted driving in Texas and set an example for friends and family members by putting away your own devices when you drive.
Looking at the numbers
According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, distracted driving caused nearly 98,000 auto accidents in 2019. These crashes resulted in 2,500 hospitalizations and 378 fatalities.
The Texas Department of Insurance reports that more than a quarter of motor vehicle collisions involve a distracted driver. The agency adds that about 3.8% of drivers on the road are using an electronic device at any given moment.
Understanding the impact of distracted driving
The TDI cites research indicating that driver reaction time doubles in the presence of a distraction such as a text or phone call. In addition, the average glance at a phone lasts 4.6 seconds. While that might not seem like much time, at 55 miles an hour you would cover the length of an entire football field in less than 5 seconds, without once looking at the road.
According to the agency, talking on a cell phone creates a significant mental distraction whether you use a hands-free or handheld device. Using a talk-to-text application to compose a text or email represents one of the most distracting activities. To best avoid serious injury in a catastrophic auto accident, stow your phone out of sight and out of mind when you drive.