PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There is no doubt, distracted driving is a major problem.
It’s not tough to find drivers with their eyes off the road.
“You can see them with their heads down, some women putting their make up on,” said Ron Mumbray, a driver.
“When I’m out driving, I see them talking on the phone, texting on the phone, swerving because they are texting on the phone constantly, the phone is the biggest thing,” added Doug Hyatt, another driver
A report just released in the New England Journal of Medicine highlights the dangers of distracted driving.
The study focused on tasks like:
- Reaching for a cell phone
- Dialing a cell phone
- Sending or receiving text messages
- Looking at roadside objects
Turns out, drivers are multi-tasking quite a bit behind the wheel.
According to the study, the distractions are a big problem for adults, but an even bigger issue for new, inexperienced teen drivers.
“I tell young people, if you have to check in, call your mom or dad and say, ‘Hey, I’m leaving,’ turn that cell phone off, get to your destination and then pick up that phone, turn it back on and then call mom and dad and say, ‘I made it safely,’” said Trooper Robin Mungo, of the Pennsylvania State Police.
The risk of a crash or near crash among young drivers increased more than sevenfold if they were dialing or reaching for a cell phone. Car crashes are the number one killer of teens.
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to text while driving. All cell phone use is banned in 37 states.