The Texas Department of Transportation really, like seriously this time, thinks it's time for you to stop using your phone while you drive. They would also like all of us to stop eating, grooming and reading -- although presumably not road signs -- while operating our various means of conveyance.
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They -- and Derek Holland and Oprah and yes, even noted lover of safe behavior Justin Bieber -- have been telling all of us this for a while, but, according to statistics released by the agency, we haven't been getting the message. So this summer, the agency is bringing props.
At a press event held in Fort Worth on Wednesday, TxDOT debuted a car-sized smashed-looking phone -- by the looks of it, an iPhone 4 or 4S -- that is meant to dissuade those who see it from so much as glancing in the general direction of their phones while engaging in any sort of moving use of a motor vehicle.
While the car-sized smartphone is probably a little much, TxDOT's heart seems to be in the right place. The agency says that 505 people died and 19,981 were seriously injured in Texas in distracted driving crashes last year. Drivers 16 to 24 and over 44 have an especially high risk of being in a distracted driving-influenced collision, TxDOT says.
Anyway, TxDOT just wants you to pay "100 percent undivided attention" when you drive. Take it from our giant new smartphone overlord.