In 2015, the number of vehicle crashes in Texas involving both injuries and fatalities continued a disastrous trend of increases over past years. The Insurance Council of Texas says distracted driving is the cause of many vehicle crashes on the state’s roads. On average, eight people lose their lives every day in the United States due to distracted driving. In the U.S. in 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident if texting on the phone, the ICT reported. Research by State Farm indicates 80 percent of drivers view distracted driving a bigger problem now than three years ago. Yet, few have altered their driving behaviors. While many drivers have turned toward hands-free devices for cell phone use, many studies have shown that talking on the phone is as bad, and maybe worse, than drunk driving. To put a halt to distracted driving, many Texas cities have passed ordinances banning the use of cell phones while driving, but the problem still remains. “Driving a two-ton vehicle at any speed limit is not the time to take your eyes off the road,” said Mark Hanna. “As anyone knows while driving, it takes only a split second for something to happen that can result in a crash.” Distracted driving includes not only texting and driving but also: using a cell phone or smartphone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading (including maps), using a navigation system, watching a video and/or adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player.