Texting While Driving Continues Despite Dangers

Published 10/28 2012 09:01PM

Updated 10/29 2012 02:55PM

Drivers texting or talking texting while behind the wheel is a common yet scary sight.

And while government officials say the biggest culprits are age 20 and under not all young adults give it the green light.

"I know the dangers of doing it so I don't understand why people do it. I feel like it can wait. There's nobody that's so important to where you can lose your life over," says Blossom Odemudia, a student at Midwestern State University.

But it's happening.

In 2010, National Highway Traffic Safety officials say more than 3,000 people died in crashes involving drivers distracted by cell phones and that an additional 416,000 were injured in vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.

And crashes continue today, like one that recently hurt this MSU student.

"The person that was driving... that I was sitting next to was my cousin. Q: Did he end up wrecking? Yes. He totaled the car and I messed up my leg. That's why I don't text cause I have first hand and it's not cool," says MSU student Camden Ford.

In 2009, the increasing danger drove Texas lawmakers to protect students and prohibit handheld cell phone use in school zones.

Wichita Falls police say since that law took effect they have ticketed 128 violators.

But away from school zones drivers continue letting their fingers do the talking while at the wheel.

"In the past 12 months, we have several accidents reported in our community every year and in the past 12 months out of those that were reported approximately 116 of them had a contributing factor of cell phone use," explains Wichita Falls Police Officer Jeff Hughes.

Police say anything you do in a vehicle that takes your eyes off the road is a distraction.

"But when you add in a cell phone, texting or talking on a cell phone then those distractions are actually taking your eyes of the road and just making it a deadly combination," Officer Hughes adds.

Texas is one of 11 state without a ban on text messaging by drivers although many cities in the state have ordinances prohibiting it.

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