NO PHONE ZONE Day

Motorists across Texas will see a new safety message this Friday on highway signs around the state-a message that encourages citizens to pay attention and eliminate distractions while driving. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage drivers to give up texting or talking on cell phones while driving. 

** Motorists who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to be involved in a vehicle crash.

** Distracted driving resulted in 103,526 crashes in Texas in 2008.     Motorists are considered distracted when the driver is talking or texting on a cell phone, conversing with passengers, eating, smoking, manipulating dashboard controls or reaching for something inside the vehicle.

** There were 524 deaths in Texas in 2008 because of driver distraction.

** According to a 2008 NHTSA report, 5,870 people died and 515,000 were injured nationwide in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver. The under-20 age group had the highest number of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes-16 percent-with the 20-29 year-old group posting the next highest numbers at 12 percent.

** And, a 2009 Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) study found that 44 percent of teens text while driving and 49 percent talk on a cell phone.

** The statewide messages will remind drivers that April 30 is a no phone zone day, but we hope that all Texans will think about putting away the cell phones every time they get behind the wheel-not just on April 30.

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