Proof That Talking, Texting While Driving Is Deadly

TxDOT releases cell phone-related crash statistics

[UGCDFW-CJ-weather]Hail in Godley
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Blame the cell phone again: New numbers show being on the phone and behind the wheel at the same time can cause car crashes.

Texas has released records that show hundreds of car crashes in North Texas last year were linked to a cell phone in the hand of the driver. Four of the wrecks resulted in fatalities.

In the last five years, more than 1,700 drivers on their cell phones caused crashes. Until the data came out, it was impossible to tell how many crashes were caused by drivers using cell phones on the road.

"The texting-while-driving issue is the biggest issue we find in terms of the distracted driver," said Dan Ronan, of AAA Texas.

Drivers on cell phones caused nearly 700 crashes in North Texas last year. Four of the wrecks were deadly.

"You’re looking at the keyboard, looking at the screen, processing the information, going back and forth, and you're trying to do this at 70 miles per hour on the George Bush Turnpike," said Ronan.

AAA is pushing for legislators to ban texting while driving nationwide in the next three years. Twenty states have already banned texting while driving.

But according to another safety advocate group -- Focus Driven -- simply banning texting while driving isn't enough.

"Well, texting is a no-brainer. Everyone knows it's wrong, everyone knows it's not safe," said Focus Driven member Jennifer Smith.

It's an issue Smith is passionate about, because her mother was killed by a driver who was on a cell phone at the time of the crash.

"In September of 2008, my mother was leaving her neighborhood and a driver talking on a cell phone ran a red light and hit her car going about 45, 50 miles per hour," said Smith.

She said that driver was simply talking on the phone -- not texting.

"When you're driving, you just need to be driving. You're driving a deadly weapon," said Smith.

The new studies prove that any kind of phone conversation diverts the users focus from the road. It's a fact that has Focus Driven standing strong behind their stance against any cell phone use by drivers.

"No phone call, no e-mail or text message is worth someone's life," Smith said.

Some state legislators have said they believe a texting ban should happen. But they said it's unlikely a full cell ban will pass. 

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