Starting in 2015, the State of Texas implemented the distracted driving program for 16 and 17-year-olds. Called Impact Texas Teen Drivers (ITTD), it was put in place to help reduce the number of distracted driving wrecks and to save lives.
Now, what started as a one-hour program focused on teen drivers is an 8-part, two-hour course. ITTD has expanded into an additional program, Impact Texas Young Drivers (ITYD). ITYD is now required for anyone 18 years and older before they take their driving test (in addition to completing the 6-hour adult driver education course). The ITTD and ITYD programs are free and available to everyone.
Why Distracted Driving?
The deadly impact of distracted driving cannot be overstated. In 2019, one in five car wrecks could be attributed to distracted driving, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. The same year, 97,853 distracted driving crashes in Texas caused 378 deaths and 2,500 serious injuries. The goal of the distracted driving program is to prevent these serious wrecks through awareness and education.
How Does the Program Help?
This program is intended to protect citizens and prevent any Texan from experiencing tragedy due to distracted driving. A study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Injury Research and Policy found that when new drivers completed a graduated driver licensing program, the rate of fatal crashes went down. The study showed that these programs are particularly effective for teen drivers. The ITTD program uses this research and real-life stories to bring home to young drivers the deadly impact distracted driving can have. As Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw says, "This new component of the department's distracted driving initiative uses research and compelling true stories to highlight the many risks facing drivers. This important program is designed to provide Texas drivers with critical information to help keep their focus on driving–and to ultimately save lives on Texas roadways."
In the next few years, the state plans to create a version of the program that all Texas drivers must complete. For now, all Texans 18 years and older wanting to get a license will need to complete the Impact Texas Young Drivers program.
Doing Our Part to Prevent Distracted Driving
Here at The Button Law Firm, we are continually pushing for awareness about the impact of distracted driving. We want the public to understand what’s at stake when people make dangerous decisions while driving when they are distracted.
If you or a loved one was involved in a wreck involving a distracted driver, or what you believe was distracted driving, please reach out to us. Because the statute of limitations for most car wreck cases is two years from the date of the wreck, the sooner, the better. We handle distracted driving cases all over Texas. Whether you live in Dallas, Midland, or Houston, our team is ready to help ensure that you get the closure you need. Connect with us online or call us at 214-888-2216.