WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Texas is getting tougher on distracted drivers in hopes of saving lives.
A new course focuses on showing just how dangerous even deadly distracted driving can be.
16 and 17 year-olds have been taking a similar two-hour course since 2015, but this fall it is the 18 to 24-year-olds that will see some changes.
"No matter how safe you are, you never know what the other person is going to do," said Wendell Carroll, a drivers education teacher at Alpha Omega Driving School. "You don't know if they are going to run a red light, stop signs, pull into your lane, you just never know so there's always that risk right there."
That is why staying alert behind the wheel is key to safe driving
Carroll who has been teaching drivers ed since 1979 said he has seen a lot of changes over the years, and another one is right around the corner.
Starting September 1 drivers ages 18 to 24 will have to take a course that highlights the dangers of distracted driving. A change Carroll supports.
He said anything that can help prevent accidents or deaths is well worth it.
The Impact Texas Young Drivers course is online and free. It mentions distractions like using cell phones, changing the radio station and multitasking in general. Basically, anything other than focusing on the road.
"Whatever it happens to be, hopefully, they'll understand not to be doing it anymore and stop this stuff because it's just dangerous," said Carroll. "People think they can do whatever they want to in the car and you can't."
Although people 25 and older are not required to take drivers ed in Texas Carroll strongly feels everyone should take this new course.
"I think it is beneficial for a lot of people because they see a lot of different things that they normally wouldn't even think about when they are out driving," said Carroll. "To me, an adult probably needs to take a 32-hour course like some of these kids do."
A lot of people say they think that is a good idea.
On our NewsChannel 6 Facebook Page, one person said they think new drivers and those renewing their license should have to take it.
One woman posted "a lot of adults that I've seen on their phones while driving need to watch it too.
Carroll said he thinks the Impact Texas Young Drivers course will save a lot of lives in the long run.
The requirement to take it goes into effect the same day as the statewide ban on texting and driving.