I-Team: Drivers using cellphones cause 24% car crashes

I-Team: Drivers using cellphones cause 24% car crashes

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ATLANTA -

Ready for some sobering driving stats?  The number of car crashes involving cell phone use is on the rise.  Despite all of the information out there about the risks, and laws in place to cut back on texting and driving, things are getting worse.  

The National Safety Council says 24 percent of car accidents are caused by cell phone use.  But, even the safety group thinks that number is probably higher because distracted driving is underreported.  

The FOX 5 I-Team decided to run a test.  It's unscientific, but you'll get the point.  We stood at a busy intersection at lunch time and counted the number of drivers we saw using their cell phones for calls or texting.  The results were higher than we expected.  

During five traffic light cycles, we counted 72 drivers using their cell phones.  One of them was actually a police officer who was texting.

According to the National Safety Council, all of those people aren't seeing everything that's going on around them if they are on the phone.  In fact, they see 50 percent less than what they should.  

It's something to be mindful of as school starts.  Children are going back to the bus stops, and if you're not paying attention, you might not see them step into the street.  

Some states like Georgia have passed laws that make texting while driving illegal, but safety experts argue they aren't enforced.  The National Transportation Safety Administration decided to step up with a very strong recommendation: no cell phone use at all in cars.  The measure would even ban hands-free devices.  It's extreme, and would likely attract considerable opposition.

More info:
Five Apps that Help Prevent Texting While Driving

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