Texting and Driving Still an Epidemic as Awareness Grows

Published 11/09 2012 09:26PM

Updated 08/02 2013 04:00PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) These days, a car is more than a tool to get from Point A to Point B.

To most people, it is a portable office on wheels.

As smart phones get more advanced, the possibility of distractions increases.

"Everybody knows that," said Melissa Black with the Missouri Department of Transportation. "But I guess we all just think we only have so much time and we're going to get these things done."

Awareness continues to increase for texting and driving with major mobile services now creating pledges to keep people focused on the road.

And yet, it is not uncommon to pull up beside someone looking down at their cell phone.

"They're becoming more and more fractured when they're out driving," said Black. "They don't concentrate on the driving like they should be."

But as the technology improves, so does the research.

Most people think they are multitasking when they pull out their cell phone at the wheel.

But studies are showing they are only doing one thing at a time.

"If you think you're driving and texting, you're not," said Black. "You're really texting and then driving."

It is a growing problem. Fifty percent of drivers admit they text and drive.

It is a habit most can struggle with breaking.

"I, as much as I hate it because I'm like everyone else, I think I'm in car. This is my time to catch up," said Black. "I hand my phone off to one of my kids and say, 'Hey, text dad and tell him we're almost home'."

It is an easy fix that could add some more mileage to your lifespan.

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