Distracted Driving

Cell Phone Use & Texting

Cell phone use while driving is the No. 1 distraction behind the wheel. More than two-thirds of the respondents to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey reported talking on a cell phone while driving during the previous 30 days. Researchers observing more than 1,700 drivers found that three out of every four drivers using a cell phone committed a traffic violation.

Talking on a cell phone while driving makes you four times more likely to crash, and texting while driving increases your chances of a crash by up to 8 to 23 times. While a growing number of drivers are turning to hands-free devices, studies show hands-free devices provide no safety benefit. It’s the conversation, not the device, that creates the danger. 

No Cell Phones in School Zones
Texans need to be aware of the cell phone law in effect. Drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones in school crossing zones. School bus operators also are prohibited from using cell phones while driving if children are present. In Texas, fines can double in school zones.

What's the Problem?
  • In 2011 in Texas, 81,103 crashes involved distraction, inattention, or cell-phone use; 361 of these were fatal. (TxDOT, 2011)
  • In 2011 in Texas, cell phone use was the contributing factor in 3,147 crashes and 40 fatal crashes. (TxDOT, 2011)
  • In 2009, there were 5,474 people killed and 448,000 injured nationwide in crashes involving distracted driving. (NHTSA, 2009)
  • Drivers are 23 times more likely to crash when text messaging behind the wheel. (NHTSA, 2009)
  • Nationally, 16 percent of fatal crashes and 20 percent of injury crashes involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA, 2009)
  • Nationally, 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA, 2009)