Distracted driving more serious problem among teens

Published: Mar. 26, 2015 at 2:41 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 26, 2015 at 3:23 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A new survey from AAA shows distracted driving is likely a more serious problem than previously known.

Analysis of crash videos of teen drivers shows that distraction was a factor in nearly six out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes.

According to AAA, that finding is nearly four times as many as official estimates based on police reports.

However, Heartland residents say it is not just a problem among teens.

"It's everyone, it's everyone," Kim Patrick said. "It's teens to the elders. It's everyone."

Patrick was nearly in an accident on Wednesday because of a distracted driver.

"They're driving and they are starting to swerve into the other lane and you look and what are they doing, but pounding their phones. It's been scary," Patrick said.

Some admit, there are a lot of distractions in the car.

"I find myself getting distracted with my own child in the backseat, 'Mommy look at this.' It's like, 'honey I can't right now I'm driving.' And I have to try to really, really tell him look I have to focus on the road because if we get in a wreck you're going to get hurt too," Ashley Welkin said.

The concern is safety.

"It's scary especially when I'm the grandma and I'm responsible for these little guys," Patrick said.

AAA is suggesting states take a look at their distracted driving laws.

Illinois is the only Heartland state that completely bans using a cell phone while driving.

In Kentucky, using a phone in the car is only illegal if you're under the age of 18.

The state of Missouri does not ban using a cell phone, however, it is illegal to text and drive if you are under the age of 21.

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