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New Government Study: Texas Drivers Feel Threatened by Distracted Drivers

Four out of five Texans believe that both cell phone use and text messaging while driving have become more problematic over the last half-decade, as reported by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI). The data also shows that Texas drivers generally feel they are more at risk of injury or death from other drivers than they were five years ago.

Texans also perceived an increase in speeding, aggressive driving, and discourteous driving since 2005, but the most startling increase concerned the distracted driving behaviors of texting or talking on the cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.

New Laws on the Horizon?

These strong public feelings will likely prompt lawmakers to draft new bills addressing some of these problem areas. The TTI's survey data shows that two out of three Texas drivers favor banning cell phone use while driving.

Distracted driving has been an area of focus lately. As many as 20 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in 2008 were caused partially or wholly by driver distraction, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Protecting Your Family

Regardless of whether government bans drivers from cell phone use, it will remain difficult to protect yourself and family from bad drivers. Whether you are a pedestrian in the crosswalk, driving yourself home from work, or transporting your child to or from school, you are always somewhat susceptible to dangerous drivers.

Take some simple precautions to protect yourself and others:

-Wear your seatbelt

-Ensure that younger children are in booster or car seats

-Avoid distractions yourself, allowing yourself more time to react to another motorist's poor driving

-Always remain alert, assume other drivers will make serious mistakes

Source: Texas Transportation Institute

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