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Local Authorities Urge Distracted Drivers to Stay Alert to Save Lives

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

April 12, 2021

By Natalie Cook Clark


Last year, 1 in 5 accidents on Texas roadways were caused by distracted driving. Local authorities remind drivers about the dangers of looking away from the road, even for just a second.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

To promote National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Texas Department of Transportation has released new statistics regarding the continued rise and dangers of distracted driving.


It Only Takes a Second...

“It only takes a second of looking down at your phone to cause a crash,” says Fort Bend County Constable Chad Norvell.


Distracted driving is number 2 on the state-wide list for traffic-related crash causes. In 2020, 1 in 5 crashes on Texas roadways were caused by distracted driving. As a result, 364 people died and 2,200 were seriously injured.


“Statistics show that if a driver’s attention is diverted from the road, it only takes three seconds for a serious or fatal crash to occur,” says Robert Henslee with Harris County Precinct 5, Constable Ted Heap’s Office.


“Distracted driving is a growing problem and poses a serious risk not just to the driver, but to everyone else who is on the road trying to safely get from point A to point B,” says Harris County Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap.


Distracted driving is very personal to Precinct 5. In 2019, one of their motorcycle deputies suffered serious injuries when he was struck by a driver who was texting on the Westpark Tollway entrance ramp.


“Fortunately, after a grueling hospital stay and rehabilitation, he recovered but he could have been killed,” recalls Constable Heap.


“We all want to protect our loved ones and see them live happy and productive lives,” says Henslee. “Distracted driving steals these basic joys from us.”


Play the Game, Understand the Dangers

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is re-launching its web-based augmented reality game “Dart Those Distractions” to reinforce the importance of paying attention behind the wheel.


The game is designed to be played NOT while driving and the department hopes will further demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving.