An average of nine people die every day from crashes caused by distracted drivers, a statistic that’s especially tragic when those deaths could be preventable. That’s why Texas is expanding its requirement for new drivers to learn more about what they shouldn’t be doing behind the wheel.
The state is gradually phasing in free video courses for new drivers, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The series started with a two-hour online class for drivers ages 15 to 17, which became mandatory in 2015. A new course, which is also delivered for free online, will be mandatory for new drivers ages 18 to 24 starting on Sept. 1.
People who are 25 or older and just becoming licensed have to take the course intended for younger adults, but will have a video designed just for them soon.
“This new component of the department’s distracted driving initiative uses research and compelling true stories to highlight the many risks facing drivers,” the director of the state’s Department of Public Safety said in a statement.
These classes are in addition to the mandatory courses that new drivers have to take before getting a license, which have their own units that try to instill better habits in new drivers. Teens take a 32-hour driver’s ed course, and adults obtaining a license for the first time must take a 6-hour course.
People who are renewing their licenses don’t have to take a course, but we could probably all stand a reminder to put the phone down while driving.