‘Talk, Text, Crash’ public awareness campaign warns drivers of the dangers of cell phone use

-Texas Department of Transportation

AUSTIN – Stacey Riddle knows the pain of every par­ent’s worst nightmare. On the way home from a spring break trip last year, her teenage daughters were killed when the car in which they were rid­ing collided with an 18-wheel­er. Brianna Robinson, 19, and Jade Robinson, 17, died when the car’s driver lost control and veered into oncoming traffic while checking her phone.

“I keep waiting for Brianna and Jade to walk through the front door, but I know they never will again,” Riddle said. “People are constantly on their cell phones. They don’t con­sider that using their phones while driving can have tragic consequences and forever change their lives, the lives of their loved ones and the lives of people they don’t even know.”

As the busy summer driving season approaches, the Texas Department of Transportation is urging motorists to avoid distractions and give driving their full attention. With 1 in 5 crashes in Texas caused by distracted driving, TxDOT is pushing its “Talk, Text, Crash” messaging across the state to encourage safe summer driv­ing.

“Last year, 455 people were killed and more than 3,000 were seriously injured in crash­es due to driver distractions,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “These crashes are highest among young drivers, and we’re grateful to parents like Stacey Riddle who are will­ing to share their stories in the hope of sparing other families the grief they’ve endured. We ask all drivers to always keep their eyes and attention on the road, and avoid distractions of any kind.”

Safety experts warn that us­ing a phone to make a call, text, check messages or perform other smartphone functions is particularly dangerous when behind the wheel. In 2016, there were…

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