POSTED: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 6:16pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 8:08am
A new poll shows distracted driving is a big problem among young people. The U.S. Department of Transportation and Consumer Reports says 63 percent of people under 30 acknowledge driving while using a hand-held phone. So, is this a problem in El Paso?
“I'm guilty of it, at red lights I do text but for the most part I don't,” said 18-year-old Lindsey Telles.
“I'm scared of texting. I mean, not concentrating while I'm driving,” said 18-year-old Valeria Moreno.
Some say they know firsthand, just how dangerous texting and driving can be.
“It makes me so mad, especially on the freeway, I'll be driving...I see people on the phone and they...swerve into our lane,” said 18-year-old Melissa Lizardo.
Trooper Diego Marquez, with the Texas Department of Public Safety told us he often catches young drivers using their cell phones on the road.
“You see younger generations...always talking on the phone. They're always texting and you see them texting with one hand, two hands,” said Trooper Marquez.
That's a problem, considering these three deadly statistics from Consumer Reports:
- Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens
- Teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as other drivers
- The risk of collision is 23 times more likely while texting
Trooper Marquez said serial texters should keep one thing in mind before they consider using a hand-held phone on the road next time.
“By the time they look and realize they're coming up to a wreck, it's going to be too late.”
The DOT said back in 2009, over 5,000 people in the U.S. were killed in distracted driving accidents.
Meantime, the DOT, along with Consumer Reports has started a partnership to educate parents, teachers and teens about distracted driving, through a free guide on DOT's website. The free guide is titled, “Distracted Driving Shatters Lives,” and is available at: http://Distraction.gov