MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – You take your eyes off the road only for a few moments to respond to a text, but all it takes is seconds to crash.
A new national campaign called “It Can Wait” was recently launched to prevent young people from texting while driving.
But it turns out that it’s not just teenagers who are texting while driving.
Their parents are actually much worse.
Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association says distractions like cell phones make drivers unable to properly react to other drivers.
“We’re finding that people tend to justify their texting, saying “Well there’s a lot of traffic,’ or ‘I’m not moving fast,’ or ‘I’m not speeding,’ or ‘I’m at a light.’ But the thing we tend to forget about is we have to be able to react to what other drivers do,” Pecoraro said. “And we don’t know how distracted they are. They may be speeding, they could be drunk. So you really need to just put your phone down and focus on driving.”
A new survey conducted by AT&T found 49 percent of adult commuters admitted to texting and driving. Only 43 percent of teens made similar admissions.
Of those adults, 98 percent said they know it’s unsafe. Sixty percent said they didn’t text and drive three years ago and 40 percent admit it’s a habit.
Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. If you were driving 55 miles per hour, it would be like having your eyes closed while driving for the length of an entire football field.
Driving instructor Tom Pecoraro says the worst thing a driver can do is look away from the road.
“Driving is 90 percent visual, its 5 percent touch, and 5 percent hearing,” Pecoraro said. “So anytime you take your eyes off the road, you’re reducing your ability to control that vehicle by 90 percent.”