Think about the last text you got while you were behind the wheel. Did you pull out your phone and look at it? Now, ask yourself this: Would that text have been worth dying or killing for?

Distracted driving is dangerous, and is one of the top reasons for traffic crashes. That seems pretty obvious, but how many times do you see other drivers texting or talking behind the wheel? How often do you catch yourself doing it?

According to a press release from the Texas Department of Transportation, April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and TxDOT is reminding all Texans to put their phones down and give driving their full attention whenever they are behind the wheel.

“A serious or fatal crash can happen in an instant,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “If you’re distracted by your phone, or doing anything else that takes your focus away from driving, you’re putting yourself, your passengers and everyone else on the road at risk. Distracted driving crashes are 100 percent preventable. Driving should be your number one priority behind the wheel – everything else can wait.”

It's actually ironic to me, because my mother actually called me this month and told me that she was in a wreck. Her SUV was the last in a long line of other vehicles waiting at a traffic light when she was hit from behind and pushed into the vehicle in front of her. The woman who hit her admitted that she was not paying attention because she was texting.

Since September 1, 2017, it has been illegal to read, write, or send a text while driving in Texas. Violators can face a fine up to $200. That's if you're lucky and don't get into a crash, which could cost a life.

Dangerous distractions include any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from safely operating a vehicle. Research shows that regardless of whether a driver uses a voice-to-text program, hands-free device, or a handheld one, the distraction will affect the driver’s ability to drive safely.

Don't get distracted. Let's focus on the road.

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