In support of Distracted Driving Awareness Month the Texas Department of Transportation has launched a new safe driving campaign called “Text. Talk. Crash.”

According to the Texas DOT, a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study showed that 54 percent of motorists said their driving was no different when talking on the phone. In 2011, more than 81,000 crashes on Texas roadways involved some sort of distracted driving, and 361 of these proved fatal.
These numbers show that 25 percent of all crashes in Texas are caused by distracted driving.

Most people think of distracted driving as something which causes them to simply take their eyes off the road. While it is true that taking your eyes off the road while driving for even a moment is enough to result in calamity, taking your BRAIN off the road is just as bad. That’s what happens when you try to use your phone or other handheld device while driving. You look away, yes, but you also lose mental focus on what you are doing which is even worse.

Texas officials have been using a series of public service announcements to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, and convince drivers that what they are doing behind the wheel requires their full and complete attention. There simply is no reason to be doing anything but focusing on your driving every time you get behind the wheel.

Remember, it’s not just about defensive driving, it’s about staying alive. Be smart and take the Texas DOT advice to heart: Distracted driving kills. period.