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Road Safety Urged as Long Holiday Weekend Continues

PHOTO: Drivers are being reminded of the dangers of distractions behind the wheel as the long holiday weekend continues. Texting is a major distraction, but officials say hands-free phones also take your attention away and can be just as dangerous. CREDIT: Robert Provost
PHOTO: Drivers are being reminded of the dangers of distractions behind the wheel as the long holiday weekend continues. Texting is a major distraction, but officials say hands-free phones also take your attention away and can be just as dangerous. CREDIT: Robert Provost
July 5, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas – As the long holiday weekend continues, a reminder for drivers in Texas – keep your hands on the wheel and your focus on the road.

Distracted driving is said to be a factor in at least one-in-four crashes, and while texting is often cited, Texas State Trooper Robbie Barrera notes that using a hands-free device doesn't mean risk-free.

"While you're talking on your cell phone and driving you're completely concentrating on your cell phone call itself,” she says, “and it's very important that we concentrate on the road and not on anything else. So, hands-free or a cell phone in your hand, either way you're still distracted."

Nationally, more than 3,000 people are killed in distracted driving crashes each
year.

Other than getting rid of distractions, Barrera says buckle up, don't speed and if you plan to drink, don't drive.

"Don't get behind the wheel and drive, have a designated driver,” she advises. “The Fourth of July is meant to be a happy one, not one when or where you were put in jail or you were involved in a crash and you injured or killed yourself or someone else."


John Michaelson, Public News Service - TX