Police Say Distracted Drivers Caused 2 Wrecks on Hwy 6 Monday

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

Most of us can say we've done it at least once; we leave the house, get in the car, buckle up and take off -- with plenty of distractions -- behind the wheel.

“I've checked my phone and almost ran off the road, it was pretty scary, “said Driver Austin Dees.

“I notice a lot of times at red lights, when the light changes, nobody moves I then see it's because someone is on their phone,” said driver Justin Van Norman.

These drivers say they're well aware of the dangers on the road.

“I saw at least two vehicles flipped over last week on Highway 6,” said Van Norman. “I also see people getting dressed and putting on makeup and shaving while driving down the road and it’s crazy, especially when I have kids I'm trying to protect.”

On Monday, two separate wrecks on Earl Rudder Freeway had traffic backed up. Police say -- driver inattention -- is what caused a third accident within that same hour.

"If people are traveling 70 miles per hour on a surface like Highway 6, it’s going to take 233 feet to come to a complete stop; that’s almost a football field,” said College Station Police Officer Rhonda Seaton.

Seaton says that’s only if drivers are paying attention.

“Drivers paying attention, they're reaction time is 1.5 seconds, if they're not, it's going to be even slower,” Seaton said.

“When I'm driving I first make sure I’ve got my seat belt on," said Van Norman. "I get numerous emails and texts throughout the day, but I try not to check those until I get to a stopping place so that I don't be the cause of an accident."

"I'm not going to lie, I've done it before, but only if I have to answer it," said Cariesa Porch.

While some habits may be hard to break, Austin Dees says he's learned his lesson and plans on keeping both hands on the wheel and his eyes on the road.

“It’s just one text and I would hate to know that because of my text, I'm the reason for the wreck," said Dees. "It's not worth costing someone else's life."

In 2010, at least 3,092 people were killed in distraction-affected crashes - accounting for approximately one in every ten fatalities on the nation's roadways. In the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009.

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