Just Seconds of Distracted Driving Can Be Deadly

By  | 

Before picking up that cell phone and sending a text message at the next red light, you should stop and think twice.

"Because it can wait until you stop the car," said Christopher Grose, a driver in Bismarck. "If you do, you might accidentally cause a terrible accident."

"Yeah, I always have my phone in the center console," said Brennan Johnson, another driver. "My brother rides with me. He can do all the texting and calling for us and I always make sure it's in the center console before I even start to drive."

The statistics are troubling.

Drivers in their twenties make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.

"If you glance up for just a second, driving is a complex task in itself," said Bismarck police officer Clint Fuller. "You're constantly scanning the road for vehicles, stopping, merging in your lane, things like that.

"So you're slowing down for a few seconds, and let's say a kid is crossing that street. You didn't perceive them crossing the street initially. You glance down. You've traveled maybe a hundred feet. All of a sudden, you're looking down and that danger is right in your face and you only have a few seconds to react now."

Talking on a cell phone can mean you might not see traffic lights, stop signs, other cars or even pedestrians.

"Anything can be distracted driving that's taking your eyes off the road whether it's eating, putting on makeup or electronic devices that take your eyes off the road," Fuller said. "It's distracted driving, which is dangerous."

Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can you mean you travel a distance greater than the length of a football field.

This can be the difference between life and death.