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Madison County students learn about distracted driving, car accident risk

We've heard countless news stories over the past decade about the increased risk of car accidents caused by using a cell phone while driving. People who talk on their cell phones aren't paying enough attention to the road, and those that text and drive are taking their eyes off the road for seconds at a time. Drivers who use their cell phones while driving often think that they have everything under control, and they don't need to worry about getting in a car accident.

The truth is people who text and drive are 23 times more likely to cause a car accident. This is the message that Madison County Assistant State Attorney Ellen Burford is hoping to spread to high schools around the county. Looking around at drivers on the roadway, it is extremely apparent that texting while driving has become an epidemic in this country. Using facts to make students aware and hopefully instill safe driving habits was the goal of the campaign.

The campaign worked with driver's education classes and also informed the students of driving laws for young drivers in Illinois. If a driver under the age of 19 is caught driving while using a cell phone, even with a hands free device, they could face penalties. They might also face increased restrictions on their licenses if they are caught texting.

Aside from legal ramifications, using cell phones while driving can have extremely devastating effects on everyone on the road. The distraction that cell phones cause is not limited to young drivers. People in Madison County need to pay better attention to the road to help avoid car accidents.

Source: CBS St. Louis, "No Texting Behind The Wheel" Message Driven Home In Metro East," Brett Blume, Oct. 12, 2012

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