Texting while driving dangers - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Texting while driving dangers

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Here is a startling stat for you. The time it takes you to type out one text on your phone driving at a speed of 55 miles per hour is the same as driving blindfolded for the length of a football field.

We know it is dangerous, but drivers are still distracted by their devices.

“It's dangerous,” said Jeanette Tejeda de Gomez of AAA Mid-Atlantic. “You double your risk of getting into an accident every time that you are not paying attention.”

She said despite the risks, drivers are still not heeding the warnings.

“When you're doing this, you are not only putting yourself at risk, you’re putting your passengers -- whether it's your children, your family and everybody else around you is also at risk,” Tejeda de Gomez said.

Why are drivers cruising to destination danger and where are the worst offenders? We conducted an unscientific study at a few intersections in our area and the results may surprise you.

The worst offenders are in Maryland. We counted 907 cars at two intersections on East-West Highway at Route 1 and Old Georgetown Road at Rockville Pike. Ten percent of those drivers were distracted and diddling with devices.

Our next stop was in Virginia where we found the second-worst offenders. We set up on Arlington Boulevard at Patrick Henry Drive and then again on Glebe Road at Wilson Boulevard. We counted 703 cars and nearly 9 1/2 percent of those drivers were not following the rules of the road.

Did drivers in the District do any better? Actually, they did. On New York Avenue at Bladensburg Road in Northeast and Connecticut Avenue at Calvert Street in Northwest, we counted the 835 cars. Our FOX 5 camera caught eight percent of the drivers were distracted by devices.

And what do some drivers do while on their phones driving?

“We see pictures on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – people who are taking pictures of themselves while driving,” said Tejeda de Gomez. “They are on the freeway. They take videos of themselves.

And if you feel that text, that call, and now that selfie is more important than your safety and the safety of others, it is only a matter of time before your time runs out.

Drivers who do not get the message could mean some stiff consequences. Texting or holding your phone while driving are primary offenses in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia. That means you can be pulled over without any other violations. Fines range from $100 to $500.

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