TEXAS, USA — Distracted driving is on the rise in Texas. In fact, one of every six crashes on Texas roadways last year was attributed to distracted driving, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Some of the crashes are minor, but others lead to death.
At only 13 years old, Emily was killed in a crash caused by someone who was texting while driving, TxDOT said.
“Emily didn’t die in an accident,” said Karin Zaltsman of her late daughter. “Emily died in a crash that could have been prevented.”
TxDOT said Emily is one of more than 2,000 people killed in Texas due to distracted drivers since 2017.
“Distracted driving is a choice, and it has devastating consequences for communities,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “Texting, adjusting audio or navigation systems, or scrolling on a social media site can wait until you’re safely parked. We’re urging Texans to make the right choice and put the phone away.”
Remember, texting while driving is a crime in Texas. Violators can face a fine of up to $200.
TxDOT offers these tips to help drivers avoid potentially deadly crashes:
- Always give driving your full attention — any distraction is dangerous.
- Put your phone away, turn it off or use an app or phone settings to block texts and calls while driving.
- Pull off the road entirely and come to a complete stop before you use your phone.
- Tell friends, family and coworkers you won’t respond to texts or calls while driving.
- Avoid eating or drinking until you are parked.