AP NEWS

Put your phone down and save a life

September 16, 2018

Bexar County has a distracted driving problem.

It led Texas in distracted driving accidents in 2017. There were more than 24,000 such crashes. The county also led Texas with 45 fatal crashes attributed to distracted driving.

Unbelievably, these numbers, which were provided by the Texas Department of Transportation, reflect year-over-year improvement. In 2016, there were 62 fatal distracted driving accidents in Bexar County. More than 26,000 such accidents were reported.

What’s striking is that even though Bexar County’s distracted driving numbers improved, we were still easily worst in the state. Dallas, Harris and Travis counties all saw big increases in the number of fatal crashes attributed to distracted driving, but Bexar County is driving in its own lane on this one.

Dallas had 18 such fatal crashes in 2017. Harris County had 21. Travis County had 19.

Maybe Bexar County is just better at reporting distracted driving than other parts of Texas and that’s why our numbers went down in 2017 while other urban counties saw more distracted driving crashes.

Whatever the case, the best thing drivers can do is put their phones down until they make it to their destination. But we see drivers on their phones all the time. Zipping down 281. Stuck in traffic on Blanco Road. Weaving their way across I-10. Put the phone down. If it’s urgent, pull over and take the call or send the text.

Drivers using their phones are two to eight times more likely to crash, according to AAA. Even taking one’s eyes off the road for two seconds increases the chances of an accident.

Save a life, maybe even yours, by setting your phone aside while driving.

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