Troopers Stress the Dangers of Distracted Driving to Teens

Published 07/08 2014 04:22PM

Updated 08/26 2014 02:54PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Missouri State Highway Patrol is trying to curb the growing problem of distracted driving.

"Distracted driving has always been an issue," said Sgt. Jacob Angle.

And it seems to be getting worse.

A new campaign called "Mo Eyes on the Road" is targeting teens to try and drive home the message that texting and driving is dangerous.

"They think they're invincible," said Sgt. Angle. "They don't realize you only take your eyes off the road long enough to look down and glance at a text and you could be involved in a traffic crash."

In 2012, about 421,000 people in Missouri were injured in crashes caused by a distracted driver.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, teens made up about 13 percent of distracted driving related fatalities from 2010 to 2012.

"It seems like with the mobile devices now, it's the new evolution of the problem," Sgt. Angle said.

Some say just hearing the sound of a phone is enough to cause drivers to take their eyes off the road even for a split second.

"It can wait until you're at your destination or you'd have time to pull over and check it," said Marcia Johnson with MoDOT.

Johnson and Sgt. Angle both said they cannot stress enough how important it is to focus on the road and leave all other distractions aside.

"When you're driving a car, 100 percent of your attention needs to be on the road," Sgt. Angle said.

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