Drivers should take action to be safe, drive smart
April 3, 2013 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated April 2, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.
Editor, the Advocate:
Approximately nine preventable deaths will happen on Texas roadways today because drivers and passengers failed to take simple steps to protect themselves and safely share the road. It doesn't have to be this way.
As traffic and collisions continue to increase across the state, particularly in communities experiencing more oil and gas production, TxDOT is partnering with the energy industry to deliver common-sense driving tips that could help save your life or the life of someone you love.
"Be safe. Drive smart" is the agency's new public education campaign aimed at educating motorists on how to drive carefully - especially in areas where oil and gas exploration is under way. The campaign points out that the best way to avoid a fender bender or more serious wreck is for every driver to follow these simple steps:
1) Buckle up.
2) Don't drive when you're drowsy.
3) Pay attention. (No texting or talking on cellphones.)
4) Drive at safe speeds.
5) Stop at stop signs and red lights.
6) Pass carefully.
7) Never drink and drive.
Safely getting to and from where you're going comes down to staying alert behind the wheel, watching your speed, keeping your mind and eyes on the road, driving defensively and obeying traffic laws.
Facts don't lie. Some 3,383 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in Texas in 2012, up by 10 percent from the previous year. In the Eagle Ford Shale area alone, there were 2,723 fatal and serious injury crashes and 248 traffic deaths last year, representing a 40 percent increase over 2011.
You have a choice to live today. All you have to do is Be safe. Drive smart.
John Barton, Deputy Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation, Austin