An estimated 1 in 5 traffic accidents in the state of Texas is caused by distracted driving, and the problem is getting worse.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The department is launching it's "Talk, Text, Crash" campaign to remind drivers to stay focused on the road.

TxDOT Executive Director James Bass says, "People are dying on Texas roadways because drivers are diverting their attention from the road to talk on a phone, send a text, post to social media or engage in some other distracting behavior."

The director adds, " When drivers take their focus off the road, they put themselves, their passengers and others at risk. It's just not worth it."

Last year, there were 108,962 distracted driving crashes in Texas-up 3% over 2015. Those crashes killed 452 people, and seriously injured another 3,068. These crashes are highest among younger drivers ages 16 to 34.

In the state of Texas, 38% of drivers say they regularly or sometimes use a cell phone while driving. Text messaging is particularly dangerous, as reaction times double when drivers read or send test messages. A driver texting while driving 55 mph will lose sight of the road for nearly 5 seconds, which is comparable to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.

Authorities say while mobile phone use is the most recognizable driving distraction, other high-risk activities that can take your eyes and mind off the road include, adjusting a music player, programming a navigation system, eating, grooming or other activities.



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