Distracted driving crashes on the rise in the Rio Grande Valley

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The Rio Grande Valley is seeing crashes involving distracted driving increase by 16%, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

According to TxDOT, distracted driving crashes spiked 16 percent in the Pharr district from 2020 to 2021. The district includes all four Valley counties - along with Brooks, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, and Zapata counties.

In 2021, a total of 2,450 distracted driving crashes that killed 20 people and seriously injured 68 others were reported by TxDOT.

"In our city, distracted driving is a major cause for accidents," Jose Huerta – an officer with the Brownsville Police Department Traffic Enforcement Division said. "Most of the time what we see is people on their phone texting or messing around with their phone."

Huerta said he's also seen drivers putting on makeup, eating, and even staring too long at accidents.

“We take traffic enforcement very … we've seen the seriousness of those accidents, what a distracted driver can cause out there,” Huerta said.

Watch the video above for the full story. 


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