Approximately one in five crashes in Texas involves distracted driving, which continues to be a problem in the state, even after a state law banned texting and driving in 2017.
“Our message is no longer just a public safety suggestion to urge Texans to avoid distraction while operating a vehicle – it is to remind them of the law that now forbids such activity,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “One life lost is one too many and distracted driving is completely preventable.”
The statewide texting while driving ban could be helping a little. According to recent data, the number of crashes involving distracted driving in Texas decreased by 6% when comparing the 12-month periods before and after the statewide texting-while-driving ban took effect on Sept. 1, 2017. Then in 2018, TxDOT introduced the “Heads up, Texas” to address the new law with a new call to action.
The 2019 campaign kicked off June 4 in San Antonio with the return of a 12-city, virtual reality experience tour in collaboration with AT&T It Can Wait to educate Texans about the dangers of driving while being distracted. Other campaign activities include social media and audio and video/television PSAs.
The “Heads up, Texas” campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader word-of-mouth and social media effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel. Since Nov. 8, 2000, at least one person has died on Texas roadways every single day. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on our roadways.