TxDOT warns drivers not to get distracted during holidays - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

TxDOT warns drivers not to get distracted during holidays


DENISON -- As the pace picks up on the busy holiday season, it's often filled with even more distractions behind the wheel than usual.

The Texas Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers of the importance of only focusing on the road while traveling.

Casey Motley lives in Sherman and admits to texting and driving.

"It's something I try not to do but you just do it because you have it close to you," Motley said.

While she may not have realized it before, during a simulation of the distraction cell phones create she learned she tends to accelerate as soon as she picks up her cell phone.

"I started accelerating and I killed two people so that surprised me," she said. "I thought I had it under control."

TxDOT set up the simulation outside the Travel Information Center in Denison on Tuesday.

It's part of the department's statewide "Home Safely for the Holidays" campaign.

The simulation gives drivers the chance to sit behind the wheel of a stationary car and compare driving with no distractions to trying to drive while texting.

Everyone who tried crashed.

"The mission is to get the message out that distracted driving is very dangerous and hazardous," Robert White, TxDOT Travel Safety Specialist said

But distracted driving isn't only caused by cell phones.

During the holidays, TxDOT says more passengers, shopping bags and even stress can divert a driver's attention from the road.

"We want to make sure that you focus on driving and to make sure that you're just driving when you're out there on the road," White said.

After the simulation, Motley says she'll think twice before reaching for her cell phone and will avoid trying to do two things at once behind the wheel.

The "Home Safely for the Holidays" campaign also reminds drivers to pay attention, buckle up and never drink and drive.