Caught on camera: Distracted driving kills thousands a year
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - We spend so much time in our cars it's understandable some drivers get the urge to multi-task. But what drivers do at the wheel can be dangerous, or illegal.
"People do such a wide array of crazy things when they are driving," said Denna Liska, motor vehicle safety specialist at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. "I see something that I'd consider a distraction or unsafe driving at least everyday."
Shocking as it may be, it's no surprise to Liska. Though this is a problem that is not unique to young drivers.
Speedbusters traded in the radar gun for some hidden cameras and headed out into traffic for a reality check.
We easily found drivers apparently willing to risk it.
And what kind of behavior did we see? A couple people were enjoying a meal at the wheel and lots of people were talking on the phone.
While it is completely legal in Wisconsin, it is still not a good idea.
There is no question distracted driving kills. In 2011, it killed an average of nine times a day.
3,331 people were killed that year by drivers focusing their attention on something else.
Many times that something else is texting. Again and again we saw drivers avert their eyes to tap on a tiny keyboard.
While talking on the phone is merely dangerous, texting on a phone is dangerous and illegal.
Texting and driving has become such a problem it is outlawed in 39 states. In Wisconsin, police will pull over any driver caught texting.
And it's a "primary offense," which means police treat texting the same as speeding, and Wisconsin's texting and driving law has teeth.
The fine for texting at the wheel ranges between $20 and $400 and a possible four points against your license.