Cutting down on distracted driving

MASON CITY, Iowa - It’s one of the hardest things for area police to enforce, but it’s also one of our deadliest habits.

Texting while driving is illegal in most states around the country, but with so many drivers relying on their phones, state officers are just trying to keep up and keep the roads safe.

No matter what you may be doing with your phone while you drive, staring at the screen for even a few seconds could put you and other drivers at risk.

That’s all the motivation State Patrol troopers say they need to help put an end to distracted driving.

“People need to realize that driving is a full-time job and deserves some attention,” said Trooper Greg Salier.

We see them everywhere and may even do it ourselves, texting and driving is a trend law enforcement everywhere are cracking down on, but it’s much harder than it looks, especially when the driver is an adult.

“There are some instances where they are able to use the device and some where they cannot. It’s difficult sometimes to determine if they’re texting or they’re simply accessing their menu to place a call, which is legal,” said Salier.

Texting while driving is illegal in most states, but the grey area is when an adult is using a mobile device and not texting.

Not to mention, it’s a secondary offense which means drivers must be pulled over for something else first.

“At 60 mph and you’re traveling 80 feet per second, if you take five seconds to send a text which is fairly quick and you’re not observing the road, you travel over the distance of the football field during that time,” said Salier.

Although ads like these are constantly warning us of the dangers behind texting and driving, some drivers feel, it’s not enough.

“I don’t think people take it very serious because I see it all the time and that’s one thing that I’m worried about. I see it constantly. People should drop their cell phones and not worry about them when they’re driving. If you get a call, stop the vehicle and answer it,” said Emily Nagle of Mason City.

According to a pew research study, 40 percent of all american teens say they’ve been in a car, when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put other people in danger.

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